Separatist leaders detained ahead of Syed Ali Shah Geelani's rally

Several separatist leaders were allegedly detained ahead of hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani's planned rally.

Srinagar: Several separatist leaders were allegedly detained here ahead of hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani's planned rally coinciding with that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 7.

The moderate faction of Hurriyat, led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, on Sunday extended its support to Geelani's rally.

JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, Democratic Freedom Party chief Shabir Ahmad Shah and several second rung separatist leaders were detained late last night and early today by police, their aides claimed.

"Malik and three other JKLF leaders were detained last evening and lodged at police station Kothibagh," a JKLF spokesperson told PTI.

However, senior police officials did not respond to repeated calls. A police spokesman refused to comment on the alleged detentions.

Shah, who has been under house arrest, was moved to Rajbagh police station this morning while searches were on to detain his deputy Mohammad Abdullah Tari.

Geelani, who is under house arrest at his Hyderpora residence, has called for a 'Million Men March' at Tourist Reception Centre ground here on the day the Prime Minister is scheduled to address a public rally at Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium.

"The Hurriyat fully endorses and supports Geelani's proposed 'Million Men March' programme that runs parallel to the Prime Minister of India November 7 programme in Srinagar," a spokesperson of Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat Conference said.

He said that the meeting should send message that Kashmiris were not after "petty" economic packages and that "the Kashmir issue was not an economic issue".

"The issue of Kashmir has to be resolved in the light of its historical and human context recognising and respecting the wishes and aspirations of the people of Kashmir and honouring them," he said.

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