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Mirwaiz, Malik detained while trying to march to Badami Bagh

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Srinagar, Dec 17: Two members of the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) -- Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik were detained today as they attempted to march towards the Army's Chinar Corps headquarters at Badami Bagh here while Syed Ali Shah Geelani was not allowed to move out of his house.

Hurriyat-M chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was taken into preventive custody after he tried take out a march here, his spokesman said.

The action was taken as Mirwaiz tried to defy house-arrest and take out the march to the Army's Chinar Corps headquarters, officials said.

Mirwaiz stepped out of his Nigeen residence to lead his supporters towards the Chinar Corps headquarters, but was taken into preventive custody by police personnel posted outside his residence, the official said.

Mirwaiz was shifted to the Nigeen police station.

Before being taken to the police station, Mirwaiz said the government forces have "become a killing machine".

"The killing of 10 Kashmiri's including an 8th standard student, young fathers, sons and brothers, is deeply saddening. After indiscriminate killings, civilians are branded as over ground workers and terrorists which is preposterous in itself, but what is worse is that this propaganda is used as a means of endorsing and justifying the civilians killings by armed forces," he said.

Mirwaiz alleged that the government had overplayed the "terrorist/Pak proxy/instigators card and no one was buying this narrative except some people in India at whom it is aimed for electoral gains".

Extending his condolences to the bereaved families, the Hurriyat-M chairman said people are not even allowed to express sorrow and mourn these brutalities as the "tormentors give no space to grieve collectively and express the overwhelming emotions at these killings".

"We can only express our sorrow and outrage by stopping our daily business, as each day we lose valuable lives,” he said.

JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, who had gone underground to evade arrest, was also detained after he tried to march towards the Chinar Corps headquarters.

Malik and his supporters assembled in Maisuma area of the city and tried to march towards the Army headquarters at Badami Bagh, witnesses said.

They said as the protestors reached near Budshah Chowk, police swung into action and took Malik and few others into custody. They were lodged at the Kothi Bagh police station.

Police also used tear-smoke shells to disperse the protestors.

According to a JKLF spokesman, "Malik led enthusiastic men, women, young and old of the area in large numbers and started his march towards Badami Bagh cantonment.

"The main feature of this peaceful protest rally was the presence of women who were wearing white shrouds and holding placards illustrating slogan 'Indian oppressors, kill us all'."

"Shutdown is the only collective response left with us to express our condolences our sorrow our solidarity and our outrage to such atrocities. Every other space for expression of our emotions is barred by force," he said.

Hurriyat-G said the police had sealed the chairman Syed Ali Geelani’s residence to prevent him from marching towards the Badami Bagh Army base.

“…police did not allow him (Geelani) to come out of his residence as they had sealed the main gate of his residence from outside,” said the spokesman in a statement.

He said that the police detained or put under house detention several leaders of the amalgam to prevent their march.

“We had planned to peacefully march towards Badami Bagh and ask the Indian army not to kill us in phases. You (army) have been massacring us daily, blinding us regularly, molesting our women folk repeatedly and bulldozing our property in every nook and corner, so we want to make your job easy by presenting ourselves to kill us all once and for all,” he said.

Welcoming the Pakistan premier Imran Khan’s statement on Kashmir, Geelani said the neighbouring country needed to do more.

Geelani appealed to Pakistan to have “vigorous consultations with likeminded, friendly and Muslim nations to convene and urgent meeting of OIC and put a check on this carnage and blood bath on daily basis,” the statement quoted Geelani as having said.

Separatists under the banner of JRL - Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik – had Saturday asked people to join the protest march against the civilian killings.

Seven civilians died and several others were injured when government forces opened fire at them near the site of an encounter at Sirnoo in south Kashmir's Pulwama district after three militants and a soldier were killed there on Saturday.

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