March 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India
Yasin Malik held under POTO
Srinagar, March 25
In a swift action, the police raided the Hurriyat Conference headquarters this afternoon and arrested the JKLF Chairman and APHC executive committee member, Mohammad Yasin Malik.
The police action was taken when the APHC leader was holding a press conference at the party headquarters reacting to the yesterday’s police claim in which one woman was arrested with the sum.
The police yesterday claimed to have arrested Shazia Begum at Kud while travelling by a private vehicle from Jammu to Srinagar. Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, an activist of the JKLF, was also arrested along with her.
Earlier, the JKLF Chairman denied any links with the woman, Shazia Begum, from whom the amount was seized. He admitted that Altaf Qadiri, who had reportedly handed over the money to woman in Kathmandu, was associated with the JKLF, but denied that Qadiri had visited Nepal in the past.
Meanwhile, an APHC spokesman condemning the arrest of Yasin Malik, alleged that the government was making attempts to impose “black laws” like POTO and hold so-called elections in the state “only to mislead the world opinion.”
The police claimed that Shazia had revealed during interrogation that the money had been passed on to her by a Pakistan-occupied Kashmir-based Hurriyat leader Altaf Qadiri at Nepal to be on- passed to Mr Malik.
Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah said the government decided to place him under arrest only after the police had managed to get “irrefutable” evidence against him.
Senior officials in the Jammu and Kashmir police said the decision was taken after a requisition was received from Udhampur police station, where a case was registered against the two persons yesterday.
He said Mr Malik would betaken to Udhampur soon and the local police would take his charge to complete other formalities.
Meanwhile, the police had a tough time in taking Malik out of the Hurriyat Conference headquarters as angry protesters led by JKLF Vice-Chairman, Javed Ahmed Mir tired to prevent the arrest. The police had to lob nearly over 50 teargas shells as the angry demonstrators threw stones at the police party which had come to take away Mr Malik.
While being taken away by the police, Mr Malik said he was being arrested as “they consider me an impediment in the coming state Assembly elections” likely to be held in September this year.
Mr Malik also said that Dar, who was arrested along with Begum, was associated with the JKLF when the outfit was a militant organisation. Dar was a district commander of the outfit. “The JKLF shun the gun in 1993, and everyone in the state is aware of the political set up of the outfit. Dar does not figure anywhere in the JKLF cadres,” he added.
JAMMU: Notwithstanding denial by the JKLF chief, Mohammad Yasin Malik, Mushtaq Ahmad Dar and Sazia has said that $1 lakh seized by the police were to be given to Mr Malik for strengthening the activists of the front.
Dar and Sazia were produced before newsmen here on Monday after they had been brought from the Udhampur jail. Dar said $1 lakh had been collected by supporters of Mr Malik who had visited America a month ago.
Dar said the amount had been given to them by front supporter Altaf Qadri in Nepal. He said before going to Nepal he had met Mr Malik about 25 days ago.
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