Shrinking Political Space’ Authorities foil march to Shopian

 

Srinagar, Feb 2, CNS: Police on Friday foiled separatists’ plan to march to Shopian by arresting Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq when they defied their house detention and tried to came out from their houses.

Geelani, who is under house arrest for months together shortly after his arrest addressed reporters saying India is ruling over Kashmir by its military might and are not allowing people to express themselves freely. He condemned the civilian killings and said that India is resorting to genocide here.

Mirwaiz also defied his house arrest but was detained shortly after he came out from his Nigeen bases residence.

Muhammad Yasin Malik, however, managed to reach Shopian where he addressed people.

Restriction remained in vogue in old parts of Srinagar city and Shopian town while no Friday prayers were allowed at Jamia Masjid Srinagar.

Reports said that clashes broke out in South Kashmir’s Shopian district when combined forces including Jammu Kashmir police arrested Chairman Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, Muhammad Yasin Malik when he came out from Jamia Masjid in the form of a procession.

Malik had gone into hiding and managed to reach Jamia Masjid Shopian. Despite restrictions in the town, people though not in large numbers managed to reach Jamia Masjid.

Malik was supposed to lead a procession in the town against the civilian killings.

Five civilians have been killed in the town since January 24.

During his address after Friday congregational prayers inside Jamia Masjid Shopian, Muhammad Yasin Malik said Government of the State and India are seeking pleasure from the deaths of innocent people in Kashmir.

“The State Assembly which vehemently discuss the civilian killings and shed crocodile tears is the same Assembly that gives clean chit to killers and encourages them to go for more and more killings,” Malik in his emotional address said.

Amid pro-freedom slogans, Malik along with people came out from the Jamia Masjid that was sealed by combined forces. As he tried to lead the procession, a large posse of police personnel cordoned him. He was bundled into a vehicle and shifted to police station Shopian.

The arrest of Malik at the hands of police infuriated people who pelted stones on government forces. In retaliation, Forces personnel lobbed tear-smoke shells.

A police official told news agency CNS that Malik was not arrested but pushed back to Srinagar.

Stone-pelting incidents were also reported from Meemandar and Bonabazar areas of district Shopian. Police used tear-smoke shells to disperse the protesting youth, who were protesting against civilian killings.

Minor stone-pelting incidents from Sopore and Chota Bazar area of Srinagar city. A group of youth pelted stones on police station Sopore while in Chota Bazar Srinagar, police fired a couple of tear-gas shell to disperse the stone-throwers.

Minor stone-pelting incidents were also reported from Pulwama.

A police official said that situation remained peaceful across Valley. (CNS)