Protest against arrest of Yasin Malik continues
26 March 2002
Jammu: Protests against the arrest of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman, Mohammad Yasin Malik, continued for the second consecutive day here. Even as the JKLF called for a bandh in Kashmir on Wednesday, the Maisuma locality in the city remained tense today as angry youths, led by the JKLF vice-president, Javed Mir, took to the streets shouting slogans, pelting stones and burning tyres. The police tried to disperse them by resorting to lathi-charge and bursting dozens of tear-gas shells but they came under heavy stone throwing. A number of persons were injured in the clashes. Franco Ernesto, an Italian journalist, was also injured as a stone hit him on the face. All the shops and business establishments in Maisuma and adjoining areas remained closed. Police said the situation was under control. Hurriyat meeting soon Shocked over the arrest of its senior leader, the All-Party Hurriyat Conference has decided to discuss the situation arising out of the arrest in a meeting to be convened soon. The APHC chairman, Abdul Gani Bhat, told The Hindu that Mr. Malik''s arrest was highly condemnable. ''As most of our members are out, we have to wait to meet in order to discuss the situation. What can we do as everything (Government, judiciary and other organs of the state) belong to them (Government)'' he said adding that the arrest was against ''all democratic norms'' as Mr. Malik was ''implicated in a false case''. ''But we will certainly work out a strategy as the arrest has come after we rejected the election proposal of the Government'', Prof. Bhat said. Malik shifted to Jammu Meanwhile, Mr. Malik was brought to the Government Medical College in Jammu for a medical check up after he complained of chest pain. He had been taken to Udhampur where a case was registered against him under POTO. However, before he could be interrogated, he complained of chest pain and was immediately shifted to Jammu for treatment. The Jammu and Kashmir Panthers party chief, Bhim Singh, described Mr. Malik''s arrest as ''unconstitutional and illegal'' and demanded a high-level inquiry into it. Amanulah Khan, who heads another faction of the JKLF, said Mr. Malik should be given all chance to explain his case and till the time he was proved innocent, he should ''stop using the title of JKLF''.