Hurriyat leader Yasin Malik arrested for poll boycott call

  • Spokesperson confirms arrest of JKLF chairman during a police raid

SRINAGAR: The police arrested senior Hurriyat Conference leader and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik from his office in the Aabi Guzar area of the summer capital of the Indian-held Kashmir (IHK).

In a statement, JKLF spokesperson said that a police party raided the party office and arrested party chairman Yasin Malik. The arrest came ahead of the local bodies’ elections in the disputed territory. Hurriyat leadership Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Ali Shah Geelani and Yasin Malik had called for a complete boycott of these elections.

Terming the scheduled local polls as ‘rape of democracy,’ Yasin Malik said those who ask people to boycott so-called elections were detained under the Public Safety Act. He said that the candidates who have filed their nominations for the elections have justified their role in strengthening the government forces threshold to convert valley into a virtual garrison.

He said that such exercises were undemocratic and aimed at strengthening the illegal occupation of India on disputed state. He said that since Hurriyat has already called for complete election boycott; people should endorse the call and stay away from the elections. He said that the Hurriyat leaders and activists were jailed under PSA and then lodged at different jails in and outside the state.

“I appeal people to make this process (election boycott) successful. Today when I asked police why I am being arrested, they replied ahead of the elections. Believe me, these elections are sold in every nook and corner of India, so boycott it,” the JKLF chairman said. The National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have also decided to boycott the polls until India gave an assurance to protect the Article 35A, against which a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court.

On the other hand, the authorities invoked the Public Safety Act against a shopkeeper, Hilal Ahmed Dhobi, and a young man Arizoo Bashir Najar, residents of Tral town of Pulwama district. They were detained during a nocturnal raid at their houses on Sunday. They have been lodged in a jail in Jammu.

In a statement, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat denounced the continued detention of party activists, Aashiq Hussain Narchoor, Sartaj Ahmed, Bashir Ahmed Chhon and Shabbir Ahmed Mir in police stations and interrogation centres. They party also denounced the authorities for creating obstacles in the release of the activists.