Police foils Shopian march, arrests Geelani

Police foils Shopian march, arrests Geelani.

Last Updated: May 30, 2010, 19:15 PM IST

Srinagar: Police today foiled separatists
plan to march to Shopian by arresting Chairman of hardline
faction of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani and
extending house arrest of other Hurriyat leaders including
chairman of rival faction Mirwaiz Umer Farooq.

Geelani, who was under preventive custody in Humhama
police station since Friday, was today arrested and shifted to
Srinagar Central jail, police sources said.

They said the step was taken as they were apprehending
breach of peace during "Shopian Chaloo (March to Shopian)",
called by Geelani and supported by other separatists outfits.

Mirwaiz and other moderate leaders who have been placed
under house arrest since Friday evening following a strike
call given by separatists against the visit of UPA Chairperson
Sonia Gandhi to Jammu continue to remain in confinement.

Police and paramilitary contingents remained outside the
residences of Mirwaiz and other leaders like Syed Saleem
Geelani and Zaffar Akbar Bhat for the second successive day
today to prevent them from visiting Shopian, the sources said.

However, Chairperson of women separatist organisation,
"Dukhtarian-e-Millat" Syeda Asiya Andrabi, gave a slip to the
police and reached Shopian, 55 kms from here, to join the
protest organized by local organisation Majlis-e-Masharawat
(MEM) in connection with the first anniversary of alleged
rape and murder of two women on this day last year.

17-year-old Aisya and her 22-year-old sister-in-law
Neelofar were found murdered on this day in Shopian last year,
which had sparked massive protests throughout the valley.
Shopian district observed a complete strike for 47 days.

In view of "Shopian chaloo" call, life remained disrupted
in most parts of the valley including Srinagar where shops and
business establishments remained closed and traffic off
the roads.

Stray incidents of stone pelting by groups of youth
were reported from old city areas especially Kawdara,
Bohrikadal,Sarafkadal and Rajourikadal and adjoining areas.

However, no one was injured in clashes between stone
pelting youths and law enforcing agencies, police said.

PTI