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Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik arrested after protest march to UN office in Srinagar

SRINAGAR, INDIAN-OCCUPIED KASHMIR: Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Fund (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik was arrested on Friday after he tried to lead a march towards the local office of United Nations in Srinagar to protest the killings in Kashmir.

Malik was arreated along with several party members after he tried to lead a protest march to the office of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) at Sonwar area in Srinagar after congregational prayers.

Malik along with his supporters assembled in Dalgate area of the city on Friday afternoon,  and tried to take out a protest march to the UN office. Indian Police swung into action and took him into custody.

The call for the sit-in was given by the joint resistance leadership to draw attention of the UN towards surge in the killings by Indian forces in the territory.

The authorities placed other Hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, under house arrest or in custody to stop them from leading the sit-in.

Police had imposed a stringent curfew, barricades and razor wire were placed on every road leading towards Lal chowk and the UN office. The authorities once again sealed Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, and disallowed congregational prayers at for the fifth successive Friday.

JKLF spokesman said Malik had gone into hiding as police had on Thursday raided the outfit’s office to arrest him. “But it failed to deter Malik and others to reach Buchwara Dalgate,” he added.

The spokesman said Malik addressed people at the Jamia Masjid in Buchwara and later at the Buchwara Chowk as well. The JKLF chairman had gone into hiding as state has “choked” every space for peaceful programmes in Kashmir.

Friday’s protest strike and sit-in outside the UN office are actually a mark of protest against the “spree of innocent killings in Kashmir”, Malik said before being detained by the police.

He said it is obligatory on the international community, especially the UN, to take cognisance of these “gross human rights violations”.

Earlier, the Hurriyat leaders had asked the people to march to Sonwar to participate in a sit-in outside the UN office.

The joint resistance leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, mailed a memorandum to the UN Observer office in Srinagar and to the UN headquarters in New York.

The leaders urged UN Secretary General, António Guterres, and all the member nations of the world body to take serious note of the prevailing situation of the grotesque abuse of human rights in occupied Kashmir and play an effective role to end atrocities especially the systematic killing of youth in the territory.



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