SRINAGAR–Indian police said that a top Kashmiri separatist leader has been arrested for leading an anti-India protest march and raising pro-Pakistan slogans earlier in the week.
Police officer K. Rajendra said Masarat Alam was arrested Friday under India’s unlawful activities act.
He said police put two other separatist leaders, Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, under house arrest to prevent them from leading a planned march Friday to protest the killing of a militant commander’s brother in India-held Kashmir.
The Indian army said the man was killed in a gun battle along with another militant on Monday, while his relatives and angry locals said he was tortured to death.
The chief minister of Indian-occupied Kashmir, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, termed the waving of Pakistani flag at a Hurriyat rally as ‘unacceptable’, saying “it was illegal and could not be tolerated”, according to reports by Indian media.
Masarat Alam, a likely successor to Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, had organised a rally in the restive summer capital of Indian-occupied Kashmir. The rally, which was attended by thousands, was held as a show of strength to welcome Geelani on his return from New Delhi.
However, hours after the rally, the chief minister received a call from Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh who demanded ‘immediate and strict action’ against the Hurriyat leader’s demonstration. He also said that there could be no compromise on national security, as politics could not impinge on national security.