Ahead of Supreme Court hearing on Article 35A - which gives special powers to the state of Jammu and Kashmir - on Monday, the Jammu and Kashmir Police has detained several leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami. The state police has detained around two dozen of its cadres, including its chief Abdul Hamid Fayaz, officials said.
Those detained include Advocate Zahid Ali (spokesperson), Ghulam Qadir Lone (former secretary general), Abdur Rouf (Ameer Zila Islamabad), Mudasir Ahmad (Ameer Tehsil Pahalgam), Abdul Salam (Dialgam), Bakhtawar Ahmad (Dialgam), Mohammad Hayat (Tral), Bilal Ahmad (Chadoora), Ghulam Mohammad Dar (Chak Sangran) and others.
Though police termed the detentions as routine, officials privy to the developments said this is the first major crackdown on the organisation that is part of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, a separatist conglomerate.
The Jamaat issued a statement condemning the detentions and said "...The move is a well designed conspiracy to pave way for further uncertainty in the region."
The Jamaat claimed that during the intervening night of February 22 and February 23, police and other agencies launched a mass arrest drive and raided many houses in the Valley, wherein dozens of its central and district level leaders were arrested, including its Ameer (chief) Jamaat Dr Abdul Hamid Fayaz and advocate Zahid Ali (spokesperson).
Earlier on Friday, separatist leader Yasin Malik was detained by detained by the police. The detention came a few days after the state administration said the security of 18 separatist leaders, including Malik, would be withdrawn. The JKLF leader on Thursday termed the announcement a "lie".