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The National Investigative Agency (NIA) today (Tuesday, Feb 26) carried out searches on the separatists and Hurriyat (M) leaders and raided the residence of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik and Hurriyat (M) chairman Umar Mirwaiz Farooq.

The counter-terrorism agency cordoned Malik’s residence at around 7:30 a.m. morning, a JKLF source said. “The area is being cordoned off from every side and even the media persons are not allowed to enter the area,” he said.

Malik is currently detained at Kothibagh police station.

The NIA officials also raided the Nigeen residence of Mirwaiz Farooq and in a massive crack down on Jamaat-e-Islami, dozens were arrested, including some of the top leaders as Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani, Shabir Shah and Nayeem Ahmad Khan.

Peoples Conference Chairman Sajaad Lone has questioned such detentions of Jamaat-e-Islami leaders and other separatists.

“Article 35(A) which grants special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, is being heard within days and the way forces personnel unleashed the spree of mass arrest and detained dozens of Jama’at members prior to the hearing seems something is hatching behind the curtains,” said the spokesman, adding: “Any attempt of eroding or tempering Article 35(A) is unacceptable for people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Jamaat spokesperson said in a statement.

Earlier on Sunday, PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti had also raised questions over the detentions of separatists in Kashmir and warned that such a move will make the situations in Kashmir worse.

NIA raids came less than a week after the security cover of separatists were withdrawn following the Pulwama attack which claimed the lives of 40 CRPF soldiers.

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