Govt scuttles Hurriyat rally; Mirwaiz under house arrest

Govt scuttles Hurriyat rally; Mirwaiz under house arrest

Mirwaiz, who had planned a rally on the 21st death anniversary of his father at the Eidgah, was put under house arrest after security agencies got inputs that he might be targeted like Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadees Chief Maulvi Showkat Ahmad Shah, official said.

This is for the first time in two decades that Mirwaiz has not been allowed to hold the memorial service for his father.

"Keeping in view the recent assassination of Maulvi Showkat and the assassination of Abdul Gani Lone in 2002, the authorities today decided not to allow the rally scheduled to be organised by a separatist organisation at Srinagar," police said.

The decision of not allowing the Hurriyat Conference rally at Eidgah was taken at a high-level meeting of police, intelligence and civil administration officials here last night. While Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq, father of the current Hurriyat Chairman, was killed by militants inside his residence on this day in 1990, Lone was shot dead by the ultras at a rally organised by the amalgam at Eidgah in 2002. Prohibitory orders were imposed in five police station areas of old city to scuttle the rally.

"Restrictions under section 144 CrPC have been imposed in five police station areas in the old city," the spokesman said. The police station areas where restrictions have been imposed include Maharaj Gunj, Nowhatta, Safa Kadal, Khanyar and Rainawari.

Sources said a large number of police and paramilitary CRPF personnel have been deployed in the five areas to prevent any gathering of people. The decision to impose restrictions was taken after Mirwaiz turned down a request from senior government officials to cancel his plans of constructing a Martyrs' memorial wall at Eidgah.

This is for the first time this year that authorities have imposed restrictions in any part of the city to foil separatists' plans of holding a rally. Mirwaiz yesterday announced that Hurriyat Conference will lay foundation for a Martyrs’ Memorial at the Eidgah graveyard.