Kashmir separatist leaders put under house arrest

Srinagar: All senior separatist leaders in this Jammu and Kashmir summer capital were put under house arrest today to ward off a law and order problem over protests against the killing of a youth by the army.

Syed Ali Geelani, who heads the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference, and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq of the moderate group have called for condemnation of the killing of 19-year-old Hilal Ahmad Dar in Bandipora Tuesday after the Friday prayers.

Besides, Yasin Malik of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) has called for a march to the headquarters of the United Nations Military Observers’ Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) in Srinagar after the Friday prayers.

Contingents of local police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been placed outside homes of the leaders to prevent them from leading the protests.

Armed forces have also been placed outside the home of another separatist leader, Muhammad Nayeem Khan, to prevent him from moving out.

Hilal was killed in an army ambush in Bandipora’s Aloosa village. While his family and villagers say he was innocent and was shot while coming out of a mosque, the army maintains he was an armed militant from whose possession a weapon was recovered after the shootout between the army and a group of militants.

The commander of the army’s Srinagar-based 15th Corps Lt. Gen. Om Prakash Thursday ruled out a probe, but Defence Minister A.K. Antony has ordered an enquiry into the youth’s killing.

Geelani has also called for a complete shutdown across the valley Saturday to protest the incident.


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