SRINAGAR: After the PDP-BJP coalition government on Monday disallowed three senior separatist leaders from holding a joint meeting to discuss NIA raids on residences of separatists and businessmen in Jammu and Kashmir, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik described the NIA raids as “witch hunting” and called for protests in Valley on Friday against these raids.
A large number of policemen were deployed around the Hyderpora residence of hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani early this morning.
The cops did not allow anybody to enter the house.
The restrictions were placed to prevent Mirwaiz and Yasin Malik from visiting Geelani’s Hyderpora residence to hold a joint meeting to discuss the NIA raids on separatist leaders and businessmen in the Valley.
The NIA conducted raids on residences and offices separatist leaders and businessmen in Valley on Saturday and Sunday after three separatist leaders Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate and Gazi Baba admitted in a sting operation by a private TV channel of receiving funds from Pakistan, Hafiz Sayeed and militant groups for fomenting trouble in the Valley.
During the two-day raids, NIA has recovered cash of over two crores, gold worth Rs 60 lakhs and Pakistani, Saudi and UAE currency notes besides the property documents and letter heads of Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba.
Police today also placed Mirwaiz under house arrest at his Nageen residence while JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was detained and lodged in police station Kothbagh in Srinagar to prevent them from visiting Geelani’s residence to hold the joint meeting.
A spokesman of Hurriyat conference led by Geelani termed the curbs and restrictions on separatist leadership as unjustified and illogical.
“By choking space and strangulating genuine voices, the authorities are following their fascist dogma, thus creating anarchy in the state,” he said.
Later, Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik in a joint statement said not allowing them to meet has become the norm for the state authorities.
“People and leadership will continue to pursue their movement for right to self determination till it is achieved,” they said.
Terming the NIA raids as “witch-hunting”, they called for peaceful protests in Valley after Friday prayers against the “witch hunt, coercion” and “intimidation” of separatist leaders, activists and traders.
“People should also strongly protest against Indian electronic medias propaganda war against Kashmiris and its ‘shameless attempt to discredit people's struggle’,” they said.
The leaders said NIA raids are meant to intimidate and harass separatist leaders and activists.
“It proves that Government of India has not been able to politically defeat people's struggle for freedom in Jammu and Kashmir,” they said.