September 2017 News

Cuffs On Kashmir Separatists

7 September 2017
The Telegraph (Kolkata)

Srinagar: Police today arrested separatist Mohammad Yasin Malik and put Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest while the National Investigation Agency carried out searches on their aides across Jammu and Kashmir over the past two days, apparently to prevent them from courting arrest in Delhi. Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani is already under house arrest. Today, suspected militants lobbed a grenade at the Srinagar city centre, killing a civilian and injuring over a dozen others. The police said security forces could have been the target of the attack. On Saturday, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Malik and the Hurriyat's Geelani and Farooq are scheduled to visit Delhi to stage a dharna outside the NIA headquarters and court arrest. The NIA has cracked down on separatists for allegedly receiving foreign funds. In the past two months, it has picked up a dozen senior separatists, stone-throwers and a businessman. Farooq, Geelani and Malik claim the Centre has unleashed the NIA on them to discredit their movement and prove that separatists are fuelled and funded by Pakistan. The raids have picked up in the past two days with the agency continuing to target middle-rung separatist leaders. The NIA simultaneously searched eight locations in Kashmir and one in Jammu today. The homes of two aides of Geelani and his deputy Ghulam Nabi Sumji in south Kashmir's Bijbehara, prominent Shia leader Aga Syed Hassan al Moosvi at Budgam and Malik's aide Showkat Bakshi in Srinagar were searched today. The house of Showkat's brother Shakeel Bakshi of the Islamic Students League was also searched. The NIA searched the house of Sheikh Zameer, a close aide of arrested Democratic Freedom Party leader Shabir Ahmad Shah. Shah has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate. NIA sleuths also searched the Jammu house of another Shah aide, Abdul Razaq. Geelani alleged that the authorities were using the NIA to scare leaders and common people, but vowed that such 'coercive measures would neither dampen our passion nor deter us from our mission'. 'History stands witness to the fact that ultimately imperial and autocratic forces failed to cow down the aspirations of suppressed nations,' he said. A Joint Resistance Leadership spokesperson said the only aim of the NIA raids was to build pressure on pro-freedom leaders 'to stop advocating the people's cause'. 'Delhi is trying to choke all space for the pro-freedom leadership. Under a well-planned conspiracy, the NIA has been assigned the job of harassing and intimidating Kashmiri pro-freedom leaders, their families and friends, and the business community too. The basic purpose of the raid spree is to instil fear among the pro-freedom leadership and the people of Kashmir,' he said.