Monday, February 19, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Bhat, Geelani under house arrest
JKLF chief Yasin Malik detained

Srinagar, February 18
The police today detained two senior leaders of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, including its chairman and senior executive member Mohammad Yasin Malik, while Hurriyat Conference chairman Abdul Gani Bhat and another member have been placed under house arrest since last evening.

Malik was detained by the police at the Srinagar airport on his return here from New Delhi, official sources said.

He was scheduled to visit Haigam-Sopore to take part in the fourth day ceremony of JKLF leader Jaleel Ahmad Shah and six others who were killed in a firing incident on Thursday.

The police took Malik into custody as soon as he came out of the plane and lodged him at Humhama police division, they said.

The police and paramilitary forces laid a siege around the houses of Abdul Gani Bhat at Wazirbagh and his predecessor Syed Ali Shah Geelani at Hyderpora to stop the Hurriyat leaders from visiting Haigam-Sopore today where hundreds of people have assembled to attend the fourth day ceremony of those killed on Thursday.

No one is allowed into or out of the houses of the two leaders, the sources said.

The Hurriyat Conference and the J&K Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) led by Shabir Ahmad Shah had given separate calls to people to reach Haigam-Sopore.

Meanwhile, Shabir Ahmad Shah and six other party activists arrested in Srinagar yesterday and lodged in Kothibagh Police Station, were shifted to Srinagar Central Jail today, the sources said. Shah and the activists were arrested at Badshah Bridge for violation of the curfew in force in the city, the sources said.

He wanted to proceed to Maisuma to offer condolences to the family of Javed Ahmad Nath, who was killed in a shooting incident on Friday at Maisuma.

Malik’s deputy, Javed Ahmad Mino, was also taken into custody by the police today from curfew-bound Lal Chowk in Srinagar when he made an abortive attempt to reach party headquarters in Maisuma where curfew was in force, the sources said.

Militants opened fire at the residence of the Superintendent of Police (East), Mr Bashir Ahmad Dar, at Rawalpora in uptown Srinagar. Police guards posted at his house retaliated, forcing the militants to flee, the sources said. Three militants and a security force officer were killed in Jammu and Kashmir overnight.

A police spokesman said militants attacked a security force patrol at Peer Bagh, near Narabal, in the wee hours this morning. The security forces returned the fire, killing one militant. PTI, UNI


Pakistanis plan peace trip

Islamabad, February 18
A group of leading Pakistani Kashmiris today said they planned to attend an unprecedented peace meeting in Jammu of politicians from both sides of Kashmir.

The Pakistani Kashmiris said more than 60 politicians and intellectuals from the Pakistani side had been invited to a March 17-18 conference in Jammu being organised by former Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Mohammad Shah. They said the number of delegates who would travel depended on how many were granted visas by New Delhi.

But Mr Amanullah Khan, Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, told Reuters that he thought the Indian authorities had assured Mr Shah there would be no “undue hurdles” to the meeting. Reuters


Pak ban on collections by ‘jehadi’ groups

Islamabad, February 18
The Pakistani military regime has directed all provincial governments to clamp a ban on public collection of funds by jehadi groups and open display of weapons by their activists, according to a media report here.

Although there has been no official announcement on the order, ‘The News’ daily today reported that the Federal Government had directed all provincial governments to enforce its orders prohibiting public fund collections and open display of weapons by Islamic militant outfits.

The regime has already been facing criticism from ‘jehadi’ groups, including Lashker-e-Toiba and Harkat-ul Mujahideen, after Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider announced on Tuesday last that the government was planning to check public collection of funds by Islamic militant outfits. PTI

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