SRINAGAR: Over two dozen separatists, including a leader of hardline Hurriyat Conference Nayeem Ahmad Khan, were taken into preventive custody after they staged a demonstration demanding disbanding of Village Defence Committees (VDCs) in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.
Led by Khan, dozens of activists of the hardline Hurriyat, appeared at Residency Road here and staged a sit-in to press for disbanding of the VDCs alleging that their activities are "anti-people". However, police swung into action soon after the protesters tried to take out a procession and detained over two dozen of them including Khan.
Prior to police action, Khan alleged that the VDCs had unleashed a reign of terror in Jammu region and claimed that over 176 FIRs including those related to murder, rape and dacoity stand registered against them. Earlier this month, three persons including a mother-son duo were killed allegedly by the VDC members in Rajouri district, he said.
While a National Conference youth leader was killed allegedly by a VDC member on December 20, a woman and her four-year-old son were killed allegedly by a VDC member four days later.