Srinagar: Ahead of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections, police on Thursday launched a massive crackdown on separatists by arresting several top leaders.
"Police has started a crackdown against JKLF throughout Kashmir and dozens of JKLF leaders including Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik have been arrested," a JKLF spokesman said.
Confirming the arrest of separatist leaders, a senior police official said the step was taken as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order in the Valley.
However, the officer refused to divulge the total number of arrested separatists.
The JKLF spokesman said police raided the temporary office of the Front at Abi Guzar here and arrested Malik along with Vice-Chairman Basher Ahmad Bhat, Secretary General Ghulam Rasool Dar Eidi and deputy organizer Mir Siraj-ud-din Davood.
He claimed police also raided various district offices and residences of the Front activists and arrested dozens of them across the Valley.
The arrests come two days after the state police chief Rajendra Kumar said that anybody indulging in any subversive activity which could create law and order problems in the electoral process would be dealt severely.
Almost all separatist groups have called for boycott of the five-phased polls scheduled to begin next month.