Friday, April 29, 2011

Yasin Malik Arrested, Tension in Uptown

Srinagar, Apr 28 : Tension gripped Maisuma and its adjoining areas on Thursday after police arrested Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chairman, Yasin Malik, and his associate Showkat Bakshi for allegedly ransacking a police station.
As the news of the arrest spread Malik's supporters came out of their homes and clashed with police in Maisuma quarter of the city.
Police resorted to teargas shelling and cane charge resulting in the chaotic situation in the busiest part of the capital.
Soon markets closed down and people ran helter skelter and massive traffic jams added to the chaos.
The IGP Kashmir, S M Sahai, told KNS that case under section 392 was registered against Malik for attacking police.
“After receiving a complaint by Ishaq Hussain, a driver at police station Maisuma, that he was attacked by unidentified men a case FIR 23/11 under section 392/RPC was registered,” police said.
According to police Hussain, who hails from Karnah, was injured in the attack.
“Subsequent investigations and identification carried by the police led to the arrest of Aashiq Hussain Dar son of Mohammad Ramzan Dar resident of Maisuma,” police said.
“Malik along with his associates went inside police station Maisuma and intimidated and attacked the policemen besides ransacking some items of the office,” he said and alleged that Malik and his associates disturbed the peace in the area and disrupted traffic near the Budshah Chowk in city center.
Malik and Bakshi were detained in police station Kothibagh.
Earlier, Malik and his supporters tried to stage sit-in outside Maisuma police station protesting arrest of a youth, Ashiq Hussain Dar alias Ashiq Kalla. The youth was arrested yesterday after he was found allegedly involved in beating up of another person.

However, Ashiq’s uncle Showkat Ahmad Dar claimed that police was trying to malign the image of his nephew. “Ashiq was involved in several protest rallies since last year and earlier police had come to arrest him. However people of Maisuma resisted and police didn’t dare to arrest him in protest case again. But now the police wants to malign the image of my nephew and he has been booked on fabricated charges,” he claimed.
Soon after the detention of Malik, markets in Maisuma and adjoining areas shut down, reports said, adding additional police and paramilitary forces were deployed in the area to maintain law and order.
Meanwhile, a spokesman of JKLF alleged that some of protesters including Malik suffered injuries when the police used force to disperse them. (KONS)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Maulana Showkat Ahmad Shah Assassinated

Srinagar, Apr 08: Kashmir plunged into still murkier depths on Friday as senior separatist leader and chief of the influential Jami’at-e-Ahl-e-Hadees, Maulana Showkat Ahmad Shah, was assassinated in a remote-controlled blast at the gates of a central Srinagar mosque shortly before weekly congregational prayers.

The targeted bombing at the mosque, a disturbing first for conflict-torn Kashmir, silenced another moderate figure in Kashmir politics, reviving a tradition that has claimed a number of religious leaders in the past twenty two years, apart from politicians advocating a conciliatory line.

This was the second major attack on a moderate separatist since 2009 when veteran pro-freedom leader Fazl-ul-Haq Qureshi, a strong and active votary of the dialogue path, was left virtually crippled by an armed attempt on his life.

Maulana Shah’s assassination sparked off violence in the heart of Srinagar, with groups of youth clashing with the police, and the government sounded a valley-wide red alert to prevent the situation from escalating, even as paramilitary troopers held flag marches in the city’s nerve centre which shut down completely immediately after the blast.

The deadly attack had been calibrated with precision to the Maulana’s customary movements, using an improvised explosive device (IED) planted on a bicycle parked near the rear entrance of the Ahl-e-Hadees mosque in the congested and busy Gaw Kadal area in the commercial hub of Srinagar.

It was carried out at around 12:30 in the afternoon just as Maulana Shah was stepping into the mosque premises on his usual route to lead Friday prayers, the powerful explosion rocking the area, and leaving several other people injured, one of them critically.

A close associate of the JKLF chief, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Maulana Shah had emerged as a strong voice for inter-sect unity among Kashmiri Muslims, despite heading an organisation generally considered to hold rigid doctrinal views.

He is the third religious leader of the Kashmiri separatist camp to have fallen to assassins after Maulana Muhammad Farooq and Qazi Nisar Ahmad. (KO NEWS)