Separatist leaders released after house arrest ahead of NSA talks

Srinagar: Senior Kashmiri separatist leaders were on Thursday placed under house arrest for few hours and later released ahead of their scheduled meeting with Pakistan National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz in New Delhi.

"Separatist leaders have been placed under house arrest in Srinagar to maintain law and order," a senior police officer told IANS.

Hurriyat's moderate faction chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq was placed under house arrest in the morning in his Nigeen residence.

"A posse of police arrived at Mirwaiz's residence and placed him under arrest today (Thursday) morning. Another senior leader of the conglomerate Moulana Abbas Ansari too was put under house arrest. Houses of senior Hurriyat leaders Javaid Ahmad Mir and my residence were raided by police early morning," Shahid-ul-Islam, secretary of Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, told IANS.

Syed Ali Geelani

"We have apprehension that the police action is planned to pre-empt our scheduled meeting with Sartaj Aziz in Delhi (on August 23)", he added.

Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi has invited Kashmiri separatist leaders for a meeting with Aziz ahead of the India-Pakistan NSA-level talks scheduled on August 23.

Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani was put under detention in his uptown Hyderpora residence in the city.

"I am ill. I have a bad chest and have been under house arrest since April 17 this year," Geelani told IANS over phone.

He said his political movement has been curtailed by the state authorities.

Pro-Independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik said he was arrested by police from his Maisuma residence in Srinagar and taken to Kothibagh police station.

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