Geelani, Mirwaiz under house arrest, Yasin detained 

Srinagar, Oct 22 (IANS) Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq were placed under house arrest on Thursday while Yasin Malik was taken into custody amid tensions in the Kashmir Valley, officials said.

Restrictions were imposed in parts of Srinagar while a curfew was imposed on Anantnag and Bijbehara towns in Jammu and Kashmir to contain a Shia Muharram procession, the authorities said.

The restrictions were clamped in Abi Guzar and Lal Chowk areas of Srinagar fearing escalation of tension following Wednesday’s clashes.

Naseer Ahmad Dar, 25, was critically injured in clashes between a stone pelting mob and security forces in Bijbehara town.

Malik was taken into preventive custody when he went to find out the welfare of Dar, who is battling for life after being hit by a tear smoke shell on his forehead.

“He has been shifted to the critical care unit of the hospital after surgery. He is still not out of danger,” an attending doctor told IANS on Thursday.

A police officer said the Muharram procession of Thursday won’t be permitted so as to maintain law and order in Srinagar.

On Thursday, Geelani supporters were also detained here when they tried to take out a procession in support of their leader, police said.

Since a separatist movement began in Jammu and Kashmir in early 1990s, authorities have been disallowing the eighth day Muharram procession in Srinagar, which is overwhelmingly populated by Sunni Muslims.

But Muharram processions are allowed on Srinagar’s outskirts and also in other parts of the Kashmir Valley. In many areas, Sunnis take active part in the Shia processions.

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