A day ahead of a march called by separatists to the largest mosque in Srinagar, J&K Police Thursday arrested Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik and detained Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at his residence here.
In a meeting on Tuesday, separatists had decided to continue the shutdown in the Valley. The joint leadership of separatists, comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik, had also called upon people to march towards Jamia Masjid for a “freedom congregation” Friday. The three leaders were to address the people at the mosque.
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Police on Thursday afternoon arrested Malik from his residence in Maisuma locality of Srinagar and shifted him to the central jail. Malik had been released last month after four months of imprisonment.
“A common Kashmiri’s right to live and speak have been snatched. Over 10,000 people, including elderly and children, have been arrested. The freedom struggle cannot be suppressed by arrests, murders and destruction of houses,” Malik told mediapersons before his arrest.
A Hurriyat Conference spokesperson confirmed that Mirwaiz was put under house arrest. The J&K government has disallowed Friday prayers at the Jamia Masjid for the past 17 weeks.
The forces have been imposing restrictions around the mosque on Fridays to prevent any attempts to assemble.
Kashmir has witnessed shutdown since July 8 following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with armed forces. About 90 people have been killed since the unrest began.