Srinagar: Pro-Azadi Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Muhammad Yasin Malik was arrested in Srinagar on Wednesday on the eve of a protest shutdown called by the separatists against a proposed colony to house ex-servicemen in the Valley.
The JKLF chief was arrested from his party’s Abi Guzar area office adjacent to the city centre Lal Chowk.
“He has been taken into preventive custody and lodged in Kothibagh police station to maintain law and order in the city,” a senior police officer told IANS in Srinagar.
Earlier in the day, police placed Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, under house arrest in his uptown Nigeen residence in Srinagar city.
Mirwaiz Umer, Malik and senior separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani have called for a protest shutdown on Thursday against the alleged setting up of a Sainik (ex-servicemen) colony by the central and state governments in the Valley.
The separatists have also called for post Friday prayer protests in the Valley the day after.
State government spokesman and Education Minister Naeem Akhtar had last week denied that a Sainik colony was being set up anywhere in the Valley.
The state government has been maintaining that the request for allotment of land for setting up an ex-servicemen colony by permanent residents of J&K had been received and as yet no land has been allotted anywhere for the proposed colony.