Srinagar: JKLF chief Yasin Malik was arrested while other senior separatist leaders were placed under house arrest ahead of their proposed protest at the NIA headquarters in Delhi, even as Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh arrived here on Saturday to hold talks on the Kashmir issue.
Rajnath, who is here on a four-day visit, has said he was going to Jammu and Kashmir with an open mind and was willing to meet with anyone who could help in finding solutions to the Kashmir issue.
The Union Home Minister began his visit by meeting state Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in the Nehru Guest House in Srinagar.
He is expected to travel to Srinagar, Anantnag, Jammu and Rajouri and meet civil society members, leaders of political and social outfits, business leaders and others during the visit.
Meanwhile, senior separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq have been placed under house arrest in Srinagar, while Yasin Malik was arrested by police from his uptown Maisuma residence around midnight.
Authorities have imposed restrictions in six police station areas of Rainawari, Khanyar, Nowhatta, M.R. Gunj, Safa Kadal and Maisuma.
Police claimed that the senior separatist leaders had not been detained because they intended to go to Delhi, but because they were trying to create a law and order problem.
Munir Ahmad Khan, Inspector General of police (IGP) Kashmir, told reporters that the three senior separatist leaders were trying to mobilize people for a separatist rally that would have created a law and order problem for the authorities.
“Had they moved to Delhi as normal passengers we would have allowed them to go wherever they wanted to go. But, we cannot allow anybody to create a law and order problem,” the IGP said.
State Director General of police (DGP) S.P.Vaid had said on Friday that the three separatist leaders would be allowed to go anywhere they wanted to go.