Srinagar/Jammu, Aug 25 : Despite curfew in all the ten districts of the Kashmir Valley, the Hurriyat leaders' decision to go ahead with today's Lal Chaowk rally prompted the State Government to place some of its senior leaders under house arrest, while detaining several other second-rung leaders.
With house arrests of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik and arrests of second-rung leaders, the Government has decided to clamp down on mass mobilisation by separatists in the heart of the city.
Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed in strength to tackle any untoward situation and preventing people's movements without valid curfew passes.
According to official sources, the Jammu and Kashmir Government had received inputs suggesting that some people were planning to target these Hurriyat leaders during their sit-in at Lal Chowk to protest against the failure of the Centre in finding a resolution to the Kashmir issue.
The Army is on standby in nine districts and says that it will assist the Government in enforcing strict curfew. For the first time in recent weeks the Army is out in all districts except Srinagar. Local cable news channels have been asked not to broadcast news and current affairs programmes.
Meanwhile, in Jammu, the Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti has also extended the shutdown call till August 31 and has given a call for a 12-hour "chakka jam" today after talks between the Samiti and a four-member panel appointed by the Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra ended inconclusively but on a hopeful note after a new compromise formula.
Another round of talks on the new formula, proposing the temporary transfer of land every year during the Amarnath yatra, is scheduled to be held on Tuesday.
Except in Poonch, there is no curfew in the Jammu region. The Army is guarding the 400-km long Lakhanpur-Srinagar National Highway to ensure free flow of traffic between the Valley and rest of the country.
According to official sources, the vehicular traffic is plying normally on the highway and fruit-laden trucks are reaching their destinations in Delhi and other places. Oil tankers and trucks, carrying essential supplies, are also reaching the Valley without any disruption.