SRINAGAR: As India and Pakistan opened talks on Thursday, the Jammu and Kashmir separatist leader, Mr Syed Ali Geelani was detained under a tough law and moderate Mirwaiz Umer Farooq was put under house arrest.
Mr Geelani was booked under the Public Safety Act for making provocative speeches inciting youths to violence, the Srinagar District Magistrate, Mr Mehraj Ahmad Kakroo said.
“We have booked him under the Public Safety Act. I have signed his detention order,” Mr Kakroo said.
Mr Geelani, who favours Jammu and Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan and is bitterly opposed to any talks with India, had been taken into preventive custody with his associate Ashraf Sehrai June 20.
Informed sources said Mr Geelani was being moved to a tourist hut in the high-security Cheshmashahi area here considering his old age and failing health.
Mr Mirwaiz Farooq was placed under house arrest at his uptown Nigeen residence in order to scuttle a separatist all parties meet convened by him to forge unity among separatist groups.
The decision to crack the whip on the separatist leaders was taken by chief minister Omar Abdullah.
Police sources said more than 40 activists belonging to both the hardline and moderate Hurriyat groups have been detained in the state. The pro-independence leader and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Mr Muhammad Yasin Malik has been shifted to the Srinagar central jail after he courted arrest here last week while alleging human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.
The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan began talks on a range of issues in Islamabad on Thursday. The two countries are trying to see if they can resume their stalled bilateral dialogue.