Major crackdown against separatists ahead of PM rally

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Nov 1: In a major crackdown against separatist leaders ahead of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s rally in Srinagar on weekend, over 50 separatist leaders and activists have been arrested or put under house arrest to scuttle their “Million March”.
Police have received the directions from the Government to round up all the separatist leaders, activists and known stone pelters so that there are no disruptions ahead or on the occasion of PM’s rally in Srinagar on Saturday. The drive will continue this week and more leaders and activists will be rounded up.
Chairman of hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, has called for “Million March” to Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) in Srinagar just half a kilometer from the venue of the PM’s rally at heavily guarded Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium. The proposed march coincided with November 7 rally of PM and Government has decided to stop the separatist “Million March”.
Geelani’s “Million March” was supported by all the separatists including chairman of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference (M), Mirwaiz Omar Farooq, chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Mohammad Yasin Malik, senior separatist leader, Shabir Ahmad Shah and head of Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Syeda Asiya Andrabi.
Geelani had said that he will seek the permission for the march from Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar. He had also said that the march would be peaceful and disciplined and people attending the PM’s rally would not be stopped.
In a clear message to separatists to disallow their march, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik its other leaders like Javed Ahmad Mir, Showkat Bakhshi, Bashir Ahmad Kashmiri and Mohammad Amin Magloo were arrested by police since last evening.
Police have also arrested Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) leader Shabir Ahmad Shah and several of his party activists. The other separatist leaders that have been either detained or placed under house arrest include Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Ayaz Akbar and Altaf Ahmad Shah.
In the meantime, security has been tightened around venue of the rally in Srinagar. Top police and administrative officers today visited and reviewed the security arrangements in and around the SK stadium.
Director General of Police, K Rajendra, took a security review meeting which was attended by several top security officials. The officers briefed the DGP about the steps taken by them to secure the visit of Prime Minister. A detailed power point presentation was made in the meeting regarding security layout.
The SPG commandos will arrive in a couple of days, visit the venue and take it over for security of the PM rally.
Police check-posts and bunkers have been set up at all entry and exit points of Srinagar, more CCTV cameras are being installed at main roads and at the venue of the rally.
Police is trying to block Facebook and Twitter pages where “Million March” programme is trending. Cyber Cell of the Police have identified over 100 Facebook and Twitter pages featuring the march. They are making efforts to block these pages.

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