JKLF chief and Ahalhadees president arrested in Kashmir

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Sriangar, Oct 23 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Mohammad Yaseen Malik and Jamait-ul-Ahalhadees (JuA) president Moulana Showkat Ahmad were arrested during the midnight raids for their anti-election campaign, evoking massive protests, teargassing and stone pelting in some parts of the city.

It was 2400 hrs when a police party headed by a senior officer knocked at the door of Malik at Maisuma near here after lights in the area were put off, sister of Malik told UNI.

She said Malik was about to go to sleep after taking medicine without having dinner, when the police put him in a waiting private vehicle and left for an unknown destination.

She said ''we could see the entire area, including headquarters of the JKLF, sealed by the security force personnel.'' Malik's sister said she immediately received a phone call from the relative of Moulana Showkat that he too has been arrested.

Worried about the health of Malik she said she had handed over medicine in a box to him, but she was not sure if the authorities would allow him to take them in custody as he was not allowed to wear woolen pharan by the cops though it was cold outside. Malik is in a track suit, she said.

We have information that he has been taken to Hajin police station from where he and Moulana Showkat kick started anti-poll campaign yesterday.

Malik and Moulana Showkat appealed to people not to take part in the election process.

They asked people that mainstream parties will seek votes in the name of working for Kashmir resolution which is totally misleading.

Both the factions of the Hurriyat Conference (HC) have also appealed to people to boycott the ensuing assembly polls.

Meanwhile, as the news spread this morning about the arrest of Malik and Moulana Showkat, hundreds of youths took to streets and shouted slogans against the polls and authorities.

However, when they tried to march towards Lal Chowk, police resorted to lathicharge at Maisuma which had no affect on demonstrators.

Later, police fired teargas shells to disperse them.

Shops and business establishments in Maisuma, Badshah Chowk, Madina chowk, Gaw Kadal and Haji masjid road remained closed.

Commercial establishments, including banks, in these areas also remained closed.

UNI BAS SP SB KN1421

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