Massive protest in north Kashmir after police arrest 3 HC leaders

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Srinagar, Apr 22 (UNI) Police today fired teargass shells and resorted to baton charge to disperse demonstrators who were protesting against the arrest of three leaders of Hurriyat Conference (Geelani) at Hajan in north Kashmir.

Official sources said police today arrested three HC leaders Mehraj Udddin Nanda, Bashir Ahmad and Showkat Ahmad Dar at Hajan.

They said police also raided the house and office of another Hurriyat leader Hakeem Showkat.

However, when the news spread about their arrest, the local residents took to streets and blocked the main road.

Police fired teargass shells and resorted to baton charge to disperse the demonstrators, who refused to disperse demanding immediate release of Hurriyat Leaders.

A spokesman of the HC Aiyaz Akbar condemned the arrest of these leaders and said it had exposed the Indian democracy.

He said the arrest was made as these leaders were among thousands of people who attended first ever public meeting on April 11 by HC chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani at Hajan, once a strong hold of counter-insurgent ''Ikhwan'' chief Mohammad Yousuf Parray alias Kuka Parray.

About 100 separatists were killed by the counter insurgents on the directions of the security forces in fake encounters in the area in Nineties.

Mr Akbar said such repressive measures will not help to suppress the voice of people of Kashmir valley.

UNI BAS QAB PJ AS1618

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