Separatist leaders try to take out processions to UN office

Srinagar, Aug 17 (PTI) Separatist leaders Mirwaiz UmarFarooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani today attempted to defy housearrest and lead processions to the office of the UnitedNations Military Observors Group (UNMOG) over the Kashmirsituation which was scuttled by the police. Mirwaiz, chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference, triedto take out the march from his Nigeen residence along with adozen of his supporters this afternoon but police stopped themand took them into custody, officials said. He was lodged atNigeen police station. Separately, Geelani, chairman of hardline HurriyatConference, also tried to defy the house arrest and lead amarch towards the UNMOG from his Hyderpora residence. However, they were stopped by police and taken intopreventive custody. He was lodged at Humhama police station,the officials said. Prior to his arrest, Geelani staged a sit-in outside hishouse, they said. The separatists had given a call for a march to the UNoffice here to impress upon the world body to intervene andresolve the Kashmir issue. Authorities had deployed police and paramilitary forcesin strength in Srinagar, sealing all roads leading to theUNMOG office in Sonawar area of Srinagar. Prior to his detention, Mirwaiz said the proposed marchto the UNMOG was aimed at attracting the attention of the UNtowards the "grave" situation in the Valley. "The UN must stand up and take necessary steps to stophuman rights violations and resolve Kashmir issue," he said. Terming the situation in the valley as "grave andexplosive", the Hurriyat chairman said the UN needs to play a"positive role" to resolve Kashmir issue. A group of lawyers led by High Court Bar Associationpresident Mian Abdul Qayoom also tried to take out a marchfrom the High Court complex here but were stopped by police atBudshah Chowk bridge, the officials said. Carrying placards and banners demanding intervention ofthe UN to resolve Kashmir issue, the lawyers also demandedpunishment to the killers of 63 persons during the ongoingunrest in the Valley. The lawyers returned to the High Court complex afterstaging a peaceful sit-in at Jehangir Chowk. The officials said residents of several localities in thecity including Batmaloo, Chattabal, Safakadal, Noorbagh,Rainawari, Dalgate, Brain, Rawalpora, Shah Kadal, Habbakadal,Fatehkadal and Guru Bazar also staged peaceful sit-ins aftertheir attempts to march to the UN office were scuttled bysecurity forces. PTI MIJ TA MRJAKK

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