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Shabir Shah taken into preventive custody

Press Trust of India

Posted: Feb 05, 2003 at 1248 hrs IST

Senior separatist leader and President of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) Shabir Shah was taken into preventive custody by police along with a dozen party activists for trying to take out a procession in violation of prohibitory orders Srinagar on Wednesday, official sources said.

Shah was leading the procession towards the local office of the United Nations military observers group at Sonawar from his Rajbagh headquarters when the police intercepted the marchers, including some women, near Zero bridge and asked them to disperse, the sources said.

However, the procession, which was chanting pro-freedom slogans and carrying banners demanding release of political detenues and an end to the alleged human rights violations, were lathicharged when they refused to disperse on their own, the sources said.

Later, shah along with his 12 party activists, including vice-president Moulana Abdullah Tari, was taken into preventive custody by the police and lodged at Rajbagh police station.

The abortive attempt to take out the procession by the JKDFP coincided with the Kashmir Solidarity Day being observed in Pakistan on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a spokesman of the JKDFP strongly condemned the police action and said several people in the procession were injured in the lathicharge.

It was a peaceful march to protest the human rights violations, continued detention of political leaders and not attaching priority to resolution of the Kashmir issue, the spokesman said.

He said a separate delegation of the party headed by advocate Shaheen later visited the UN observers at Sonawar and handed over a memorandum calling for early resolution of the Kashmir issue through peaceful dialogue.

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