SRINAGAR: Continuing its crackdown against separatist leaders in the Valley, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday booked Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) and shifted him to Jammu jail.
"Malik was booked under the PSA last night. He was informed by police this morning about being booked under PSA," a JKLF spokesman said.
Malik was detained by police on February 22 and lodged in Police Station Kothibagh in the city centre.
The JKLF chairman was shifted to Kot Balwal Jail in Jammu at around 10 am. As he was being taken in a police vehicle, his supporters denounced his arrest and chanted pro-freedom slogans.
Under the PSA, a person can be booked without trial for six months in Jammu and Kashmir.
Malik was among the first few Kashmiri youth who picked up the gun in 1989 to wage "war against India". He was arrested in 1990, when he was chief of JKLF. After his release, he declared a unilateral ceasefire in 1994 and turned his movement into a non-violent movement.
Since then he has been arrested many times.
Malik's JKLF is pro-independent group and favours independence for Kashmir.
After the February 14 Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide attack on a CRPF bus killed 40 CRPF men, the Jammu and Kashmir government, on the instructions of the home ministry, launched a massive crackdown against separatists.
The government has banned socio-politico-religious group Jamaat-e-Islami and arrested about 300 members of the organisation, including its chairman, Dr Abdul Hamid Fayaz, and spokesman Advocate Zahid Ali.
The authorities have also booked Jamaat spokesperson Zahid Ali under the PSA.
Zahid, who was arrested on February 22 and is lodged at Central Jail, Srinagar, may also be shifted to Jammu jail.
The city centre Lal Chowk, Maisuma and its adjoining areas observed a shutdown against the arrest of Yasin Malik.
Separatist leaders have called for a shutdown in Kashmir tomorrow against the arrests, the slapping of PSA on Yasin Malik, and the ban on Jamat-e-Islami.
"Arbitrary arrest and detention of Yasin Malik and many others under PSA and shifting of Malik to Kot Balwal Jail, Jammu is a most condemnable act," they said.