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Top separatist leaders released in Kashmir

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Last updated on: September 01, 2008 22:01 IST
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The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday evening released chairman of the hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yaseen Malik and chairman of moderate faction of Hurriyat Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, on the eve of the month of Ramadan.

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They were arrested ahead of their march to Lal Chowk last month.

Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq was greeted by his supporters at his Nageen residence after his release.


JKLF chairman Yasin Malik was also released from the Kothi Bagh police station, where he was lodged after his arrest.

Meanwhile, Geelani was taken to a hospital in Srinagar on Monday evening, after he complained of sickness in police custody. According to doctors, Geelani was suffering from a chest infection and he was being examined by a team of doctors at the Institute of Medical Sciences. His condition is reportedly stable. 

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Other separatist leaders including Shabir Shah, chairman of the Democratic Freedom Party, a constituent of the Mirwaiz led APHC and Asiya Andrabi, who heads Dukhtarani Milat, have now been detained under the stringent Public Safety Act. They were shifted to the Srinagar central jail. 

Dozens of other separatist leaders and youths were rounded up by the police and have been lodged in various jails. 

In a statement, the National Conference demanded the release of all political detainees without any delay and withdrawal of curfew restrictions.


Meanwhile, the government on Monday directed all district magistrates that the curfew in Kashmir Valley should be relaxed during the Sehari and Iftaar.


All the DMs and the district police chiefs have been asked to implement these relaxations so that the people of the Valley do not face any inconvenience.  

The decision came at a high-level meeting chaired by Governor N N Vohra today evening. The meeting reviewed the overall security situation in the state. 

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar