Srinagar: President of the newly floated Awami Ittihaad Party (AIP) and MLA Engineer Rashid was detained along with several of his party colleagues while trying to take out a protest march from Rajbagh to martyr`s graveyard in downtown Srinagar.
Rashid and several of his party colleagues, including general secretary Nazir Ahmad Malik were stopped by police at Rajbagh and taken into preventive custody as they tried to march towards the martyr`s graveyard in violation of prohibitory orders, official sources said.
They said the police acted after Rashid, who was leading the march, refused to disperse and remained adamant in taking out the rally.
Criticising the police action, the legislator said the administration has turned Jammu and Kashmir into a police state.
"In a democratic set-up the right to protest is the right of every Kashmiri which has been denied to us. It seems that Omar Abdullah`s concept of democracy is different from how it is described in the pages of political science," he said.
Rashid lambasted the government "for not allowing the relatives of the martyr`s and common Kashmiri people to visit the graveyard of 1931 martyr`s to pay tributes to them".
Meanwhile, senior leader of the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference Shahid-ul-Islam was detained while his supporters were dispersed by police at Rajouri Kadal here, as they tried to take out a rally towards the martyr`s graveyard, officials said.
They said Islam was taken to Maharaj Gunj Police Station, while the other Hurriyat activists were chased away.