Curbs on Separatist Leaders Likely To Go


SRINAGAR: With Mirwaiz Umer Farooq free after 45 days of house detention, the state government is likely to lift curbs on movement of other separatist leaders in next few days. 

The authorities are also actively considering releasing most of the leaders who have been detained in various jails across the state, highly placed sources in the government said.

“Easing of restrictions on Syed Ali Geelani and Yasin Malik are also under active consideration while Shabir Ahmad Shah may soon be shifted to Srinagar wherefrom he will be released”, the sources said and added that all other separatist leaders and activists ‘who are not booked for any serious offences’ will be released in next couple of weeks. Shah is presently detained at Jammu’s Kot Balwal Jail although authorities had clarified that he was not booked under Public Safety Act.

Meanwhile, when contacted, a top police official confirmed that easing of restrictions and releasing of separatist leaders was under active consideration of the state government. “As the situation improves all of them will be released shortly”, he said and added that the easing of restrictions would depend upon the overall situation in the valley. “Not only separatist leaders, also some youth who have been detained on precautionary basis and have no major cases against them will also be released very soon”, he added.     

Pertinently, Chairmen of both factions of the Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, were put under detention at their residences in Delhi soon after hanging of parliament attack convict Muhammad Afzal Guru on February 9. Later JKLF Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik was also detained at Srinagar airport on his arrival from a private visit to Pakistan and put under house arrest at his Srinagar residence.

During a manhunt, the police had also arrested Advocate Zahid Ali, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, Gh Nabi Zaki and G M Nagoo and various other separatist leaders on the charges that they were issuing protest calendars in absence of Syed Ali Shah Geelani when he was placed under house arrest at New Delhi after Mohammad Afzal Guru was executed in Tihar Jail.

The senior separatist Shabir Ahmad Shah, who was arrested last month, was shifted to Kot Balwal jail Jammu. Nayeem Khan, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza and several other leaders of the Hurriyat Conference, JKLF and other pro-freedom organisation are still in the police lockups. (KNS)

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