New Delhi: The Indian government on Thursday sent across a message to Pakistan, which has invited Kashmiri separatists to Delhi this week for a meeting with its National Security Advisor Sartaz Aziz, by arresting or placing under house arrest separatist leaders.
While hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani was already under house arrest, the Jammu and Kashmir Police this morning placed similar restrictions on moderate Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umer Farooq at his Nigeen residence and on Abbas Ansari, who lives in Nawakadal.
Spokesperson for hardline Hurriyat Conference Ayaz Akbar was also put under house arrest in HMT area and security was stepped up outside the Hyderpora residence of Geelani, a police official said, adding raids are on to detain second-rung leaders of the separatist amalgam.
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik was also first placed under house arrest and later arrested before being taken to Maisuma Police station in Srinagar.
The police also conducted a raid at separatist leader Asiya Andrabi's residence in Srinagar.
The Pakistani High Commission in Delhi has invited Geelani for a meeting on August 24 with Aziz, who will be in the national capital for talks with Indian NSA Ajit Doval on August 23.
Moderate separatist leaders have also been invited for a reception being hosted by the High Commission in New Delhi for the visiting Pakistani official on August 23.
India had cancelled Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan in August last year after its envoy invited separatist leaders for consultations ahead of the meeting in Islamabad.