Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik was on Thursday detained under the Public Safety Act, which provides for at least six months of detention without a trial. He was shifted to Kotbhalwal jail in Jammu.
This is Malik’s second PSA detention since 2014.
In 2009, the JKLF chief was detained under this law but the high court had quashed his detention after six months of imprisonment. In 1999 also, he was booked under PSA and lodged in Jodhpur jail, a JKLF spokesman said in a statement.
Malik, who was detained by police on February 22 and lodged in police station Kothibagh, according to JKLF spokesman, was Thursday informed about the PSA and, soon after, driven to the Jammu jail.
In his native place, Maisuma, shopkeepers downed their shutters. A witness said that a group of women, children and youth also held a protest.
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik called Malik’s PSA detention the “most condemnable act”.
In a statement, the JRL urged the people of Kashmir to hold protests after Friday prayers and observe a complete shutdown on Friday against the arrest spree, the ban on Jamaat-e-Islami, “attempts to tinker with” the Article 35A, stating that these “dictatorial” moves deserve “our stiff protest and resistance”.
“Today senior resistance leader and chairman of JKLF has been slapped with draconian PSA and shifted to Kotbalwal jail Jammu. In a similar manner, spokesman of JeI advocate Zahid Ali and many others have been booked under PSA and shifted to different jails,” the JRL said. “These arbitrary arrests and detentions can not deter resistance leaders and activists and the people of J&K from pursuing the path of resistance,” the statement read.
The JRL said that it is a known fact that Malik is a chronic heart patient who suffers from many other ailments also.
“Callous, dictatorial mindset and approach of police and civil administration is such that they did not allow a leader of Malik’s stature to meet his ailing mother and other family members and shifted him to Jammu,” the leadership said.
Meanwhile, authorities placed Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house detention in view of the JRL’s call for protest and shutdown on Friday. A source in the Hurriyat (M) said Mirwaiz was informed that he can’t move out of his Nigeen residence as he has been placed under house detention.
In the wake of strike and protest call given by the JRL, authorities in Srinagar have decided to impose restrictions on assembly of people in areas falling under the jurisdiction of police stations MaharajGunj, SafaKadal, Khanyar, Nowhatta and Rainawari and Maisuma.