Beef ban protests: Kashmiri separatist leaders detained

Srinagar, Sep 11 (IANS) Senior Kashmiri separatist leaders were on Friday placed under house arrest in the Kashmir Valley in a bid to curb protests called by separatists against a high court order reasserting a ban on beef in the state, police said.

“The decision (to place separatists under house arrest) was taken to maintain law and order,” a senior police official told IANS here.

On Wednesday, a division bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court directed the state police chief to ensure strict compliance of the order asserting a complete ban on slaughter and sale/purchase of beef after a public suit was filed before it.

The separatist leaders have reacted sharply to the order terming it as “interference in religious affairs and a politically motivated decision”.

Both factions of separatist Hurriyat conference and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front had called for protests after Friday congregational prayers and shutdown on Saturday to protest the court order.

Anticipating protests, police raided houses of several separatist leaders on Friday morning and placed Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik, Altaf Fantosh, Ayaz Akbar, Mehrajudin Kalwal, Zaffar Akbar and Mukhtar Waza under house arrest.

Police also detained separatist leaders Mirwaiz Qazi Yasir and Engineer Farooq Dar in South Kashmir police station.

Additional paramilitary personnel were deployed here where clashes between the stone pelting protesters and security forces have become routine for the last some months.

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