Authorities on Monday prevented separatists from holding a meeting at residence of hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Geelani, placing several leaders including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest. JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was taken into preventive custody and lodged at a police station in Srinagar.
Earlier it was reported that Malik has been arrested but the official reports have confirmed that it is preventive custody.
A posse of police personnel were posted outside Geelani’s residence at Hyderpora where the separatists leaders were to hold a meeting and later address a press conference, a police official said.
He said no one was allowed to enter Geelani’s residence.
“Mirwaiz has once again been put under arrest since late last evening. He was to attend the joint resistance meeting at veteran leader Geelani’s residence today,” a Hurriyat spokesman said.
“The anti-Kashmiri state resorted to its usual tactic of curbing the leadership, once again showing that Kashmir is ruled by the forces’ might,” he added.
The meeting was convened by the separatists to discuss the NIA raids on several of their second rung leaders as part of crackdown on funding street protests and businessmen suspected of carrying out hawala operations.
NIA had registered an FIR last week in the Pak terror funding case. NIA had raided Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Fantoosh, businessman Zahoor Watali, Shahid-ul-Islam, leader of Awami Action Committee led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, and some second rung separatist leaders belonging to both factions of the Hurriyat Conference and the JKLF.
Earlier on May 19, NIA had registered a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) against Geelani, for alleged involvement in subversive activities and receiving funds from LeT chief Hafiz Saeed. The others named in the PE are Naeem Khan, who was seen on television during a sting operation purportedly confessing to receiving money from Pakistan-based terror groups, Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate and Gazi Javed Baba of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, PTI quoted an NIA spokesman as having said.