SRINAGAR: Authorities imposed curfew-like restrictions and put under house arrest several separatist leaders, including chairmen of the both the Hurriyat factions, to prevent them from attending a rally called on Martyrs' Day today.
Top separatist leaders including hardline Hurriyat Conference Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, JKLF chairman Yaseen Malik and Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) president Shabir Ahmad Shah were put under house arrest while several were taken into preventive custody, a police official said.
Separatists had planned a joint rally from historic Jamia Masjid to Naqshband Sahib shrine in downtown Srinagar to pay homage to 22 Kashmiris who were shot dead by Dogra troops outside Central jail in Srinagar on the day in 1931.
Authorities also imposed curfew-like restrictions in most parts of the interior Srinagar and a few police station areas in civil lines in an apparent attempt to scuttle the rally.
"Restrictions have been imposed in the areas falling under seven police stations as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order," the police official said.
Despite various preventive measures, he said, groups of separatists attempted to take out a march from Shaheed Gunj and Maisuma localities of civil lines.
Police prevented them and over a dozen leaders of both the Hurriyat factions were detained and lodged in different police stations, the official said.
Meanwhile, normal activities continued in other parts of the city and elsewhere in Kashmir as separatists, for the first time since the start of militancy in early 1990's, did not call for a general strike to mark the Martyr's Day.