Yasin Malik taken into preventive custody

Srinagar: Over a dozen separatists, including JKLF Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik were today taken into preventive custody by police here to scuttle a token hunger strike and protest rallies planned by them to mark the World Human Rights day.

Several other separatist leaders, including chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelai, and Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) President Shabir Ahmad Shah were placed under house arrest as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order, official sources said.

Malik, who had planned to lead a "torch rally" from Khankah in downtown Srinagar, was detained by police from his Maisuma residence in the heart of Srinagar this morning, the sources said.

Hundreds of Police and paramilitary personnel were also deployed in and around Khankah to maintain law and order, they said.

However, JKLF activists led by vice chairman Bashir Ahmad Bhat made an attempt to take out the torch rally from Maisuma headquarters but their attempt was foiled by police.

Bhat alongwith several other party leaders were detained and rest were chased away by police who burst a teargas shell and used batons after a group of youth pelted stones on them, the sources said, adding, reinforcements have been rushed to the area to restore order.

Condemning the police action, a JKLF spokesman said, "The rally was planned to highlight the unabated human rights violations and bring the attention of the world community towards the long standing Kashmir issue for its resolution."