Srinagar(PTI): Authorities on Saturday placed several separatists, including moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, under house arrest even as a strike called by hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani over killing of two youths in an army operation earlier this week evoked a partial response in some parts of Kashmir.
Mirwaiz was placed under house arrest this morning in view of fresh protests in some parts of the Valley over killing of the two youths in Tral area of south Kashmir's Pulwama district in an army operation on Monday, police officials said. They said the house arrest of the separatist leaders was a preventive measure for maintaining law and order. Geelani and several other second rung separatist leaders continue to be under house arrest for the second consecutive day today, the officials said.
These leaders were placed under house arrest yesterday to scuttle Geelani's proposed march to Tral town for registering protest against the killing of the two youths, claimed to be innocent civilians by local residents. However, the army has maintained that they were militants. In view of the strike call, shops, business establishments, educational institutes and petrol pumps were shut in and around Lal Chowk city centre but most of them were open in the civil lines areas of the city as well as in other major towns of the Valley, the officials said. They said while public transport was sparse, private vehicles, cabs and auto-rickshaws plied normally.
Geelani had called for a strike against the killing of the two youths. He had also asked the people to protest against "unjustified and inhuman" arrests of Hurriyat Leaders including Masarat Alam.