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 has denied any involvement in the suicide attack that claimed the lives of 45 CRPF troopers in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the attack was a matter of “grave concern” and it had been condemning “heightened acts of violence in the (Kashmir) Valley”.
“We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian government and media circles that seek to link the attack to the State of Pakistan without investigations,” said the statement.
The Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), a Pakistan-based outfit, claimed responsibility for the attack in Pulwama district. It was the worst ever attack on security forces on any single day since a separatist campaign broke out in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989.
India said the JeM was led by “international terrorist” Masood Azhar, who had been given full freedom by Islamabad to operate and expand his terror infrastructure in territories under the control of Pakistan and to carry out attacks in India and elsewhere with impunity. (IANS)