SRINAGAR: The Indian authorities in occupied Kashmir on Thursday unleashed raids on the houses of Hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to prevent them from meeting with Pakistani security advisor Sartaj Aziz.
However later they were released after being put under house arrest for a few hours, according to the Indian media reports.
It comes a day after the Kashmir separatist leaders accepted an invitation by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi to hold a meeting with Sartaj Aziz who is scheduled to arrive in India on August 23 for talks with his Indian Counterpart Ajit Doval.
Besides Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, other Hurriyat leaders were put under house arrest included Maulana Abbas Ansari, Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Ayaz Akbar, Raja Meraj-ud-Din Kalwal and the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Yasin Malik
While Hurriyat leaders Muhammad Yousuf Naqash and Hilal Ahmad War were arrested from their houses and shifted to unknown location.
Meanwhile, raids were also conducted on the residences of other Hurriyat leaders as well, according to Kashmir Media Service.
“We accepted the invite from the Pakistan High Commission,” the spokesperson of the Hurriyat Conference Ayaz Akbar said in reference to an invitation extended by the Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit to Hurriyat leaders.
The security advisors level talks between Pakistan and India are scheduled in New Delhi on August 23 and 24, aiming at to resume the dialogue process halted last year.
In response to Pakistan High Commission’s invitation to Kashmiri leaders, the Indian government on Wednesday said that it will “respond appropriately” if the Pakistanis go ahead with the meeting with them.
“Let’s see what happens (if they go ahead with the meeting with the separatists). The government will respond appropriately,” the Indian government sources said.