Srinagar: The authorities in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday detained all separatist leaders here ahead of a rally called by them.
Separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik and Shabir Shah, were placed under house arrest, a police officer said.
“This has been done as a preventive measure to maintain law and order ahead of a rally called by them tomorrow (Monday),” the officer said.
The separatists have called the rally to coincide with “Martyrs Day” which is observed to commemorate the martyrdom of 31 people who were killed in firing by troops of the then Maharaja in Srinagar in 1931.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday questioned the international community’s “silence” on the Kashmir situation and warned that “if ethnic cleansing of Muslims takes place in the region, there would be severe repercussions”.
Pakistan observed India’s Independence Day on Thursday as “Black Day” amid heightened tensions between the two neighbours following New Delhi’s move to scrap Article 370 granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
“In Indian-Occupied Kashmir, 12 days of curfew, presence of extra troops in an already heavily militarised occupied territory… complete communication blackout — with the example of (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi’s earlier ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Gujarat,” the cricketer-turned-politician wrote on Twitter.
“Will (the) world silently witness another Srebrenica-type massacre and ethnic cleansing of Muslims in IoK,” he asked. “I want to warn the international community that if it allows this to happen, it will have severe repercussions and reactions in the Muslim world, setting off radicalisation and cycles of violence.”
On Wednesday, Khan celebrated Pakistan’s Independence Day in “Azad Jammu and Kashmir” (AJK) to express “solidarity with the Kashmiris”.