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Malik slams Kashmir police denials, releases arrest footage

Faisul Yaseen

Srinagar, November 05, 2007:

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik here Monday slammed police claims denying his arrest in Doda and released a video footage of his arrest to the media.

Malik, a pro-independence Kashmiri separatist leader, was to resume his Safar-e-Azadi (Journey for Freedom) in the Indian administered Kashmir’s mountainous district of Doda today.

However, police arrested him on Sunday from Eidgah (an open space where Muslims offer prayer on their religious festival of Eid) in Doda.

Top police officer of the area Manohar Singh had denied Malik’s arrest.

Singh had said that police hadn’t “even touched him”.

Earlier, the district administration had imposed Section 144 in the region, which prevents the assembly of more than three people in an area.

The video footage presented to the media showed that the entire area had been put under siege by police and Indian paramilitary troops.

Malik’s Safar-e-Azadi was received well in Kashmir region where it continued for 114 days, with the JKLF activists camping from village to village and moving from district to district.

Addressing the newspersons, Malik said that the district administration had earlier granted them permission for launching Safar Azadi in Doda.

“Despite this police stopped us from resuming the Safar-e-Azadi and arrested me saying that we had no permission from the state to do so,” he said.

Malik, who was one of the first youth in Kashmir to take up gun for fighting against Indian rule in the region, said that the purpose of starting the Safar-e-Azadi from Jammu was to initiate a dialogue with the people of Jammu region.

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