April 2016 News

Police Foil Funeral In Absentia For JKLF Co-founder, Detain Yasin

27 April 2016
The Tribune (Chandigarh)

Srinagar: A funeral in absentia for JKLF co-founder Amanullah Khan, which was planned by the separatist group here in the city, was foiled by the police on Wednesday by imposing restrictions around the proposed venue and detaining party leaders, including chairman Yasin Malik. Khan, who had an association with the region's separatist movement and had co-founded the JKLF in the 1960s, died in a hospital in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi on Tuesday. The 82-year-old was the father-in-law of state Cabinet minister Sajad Lone. Lone, who is married to Khan's daughter Asma and arrived in Srinagar from New Delhi today, participated in the funeral prayers in absentia offered for Khan at Sanat Nagar on the city outskirts. Lone, who is the Minister for Social Welfare, had got married to Khan's daughter in 2000 when he was part of the separatist camp. In a tweet, Lone described Khan as a 'text-book Kashmiri nationalist' and an 'honest leader'. The JKLF too had planned a funeral in absentia of its 'supreme leader' today at the party stronghold, Maisuma, in the central city. However, the police imposed restrictions in and around Maisuma and foiled the attempts of the JKLF activists and sympathisers to gather in the area. Yasin was detained by the police early in the morning and shifted to a nearby police station. Led by Yasin's deputy Bashir Ahmad Bhat, several JKLF activists, carrying banners in praise of Khan and raising slogans, tried to march towards Lal Chowk but were intercepted by the police and detained. The police made no comment on the detentions. The state police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in strength in Maisuma and its adjoining markets, including Lal Chowk, where shops remained shut and pedestrian movement was curtailed in the wake of the restrictions. The city's commercial centre Lal Chowk remained deserted through the day as the police had restricted civilian movement into the area by placing rolls of concertina wire at all entry points. Syed Ali Geelani, the ailing chairman of a faction of separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference, in a statement condemned the restrictions and detention of separatist leaders.