Srinagar, June 9: Chairman Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Muhammad Yasin Malik was on Friday arrested along with senior party leaders Noor Muhammad Kalwal and Zahoor Ahmad when he was leading a peaceful protest march against recent NIA raids on separatist leadership and Kashmiri businessmen as well as “cold-blooded murder” of youth Adil Farooq Magray of Shopian.

As per a statement, Malik had gone into hiding from Thursday evening to evade arrest. “Police besieged Sarai Bala, started a crackdown and held house to house search to arrest JKLF chairman,” the statement said.

“Ziyarat Dastigeer sahib and its surroundings including the graveyard were turned into a military garrison as police laid siege of every road, lane and Masjid of the area. Besides putting almost whole Srinagar under curfew, police besieged main Masjid of Gawkadal and Maisuma area too to prevent today’s protest rally and sit-in,” it said.

The statement said despite “all this oppressive tactics”, JKLF chairman and other leaders managed to reach Sarai Balla where Malik addressed people at Iqra Masjid.

After Friday prayers, Malik led march towards Lal chowk but police locked down the gate of Iqra masjid and arrested him and others.

Prior to his arrest, JKLF chairman while talking to media said, “Today’s peaceful protest is against the recent NIA terrorism unleashed against resistance camp and businessmen and also against the recent killing spree.”

He said to stop a mere peaceful political activity, police crossed “every limit of decency and humanity and subjected people to worst kind of oppression” despite the holy month of Ramazan, which is highly condemnable,” Malik said.

“If police is such keen of proving itself more loyal than the king then they should remove their Khaki uniform and put on RSS knickers (shorts) instead, so that their remains no doubt about their credentials. These undemocratic and unethical tactics of occupational forces are a glaring example of the hollowness of so-called Indian democracy regarding Jammu Kashmir,” he said.