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Searching for separatists, J&K police raid homes of NC, PDP leaders, IAS, journalist

Searching for separatists, J&K police raid homes of NC, PDP leaders, IAS, journalist

Author: Muzamil Jaleel
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: August 28, 2008
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/story/354335.html

Searching for top separatist leaders, the J&K Police late last evening raided the Srinagar homes of National Conference's Kashmir chief Mehboob Beig, People's Democratic Party leader and Mehbooba Mufti's political secretary Mansoor Ahmad, Kashmiri IAS officer Azad Lone and Shujaat Bukhari, correspondent of The Hindu newspaper.

The raids drew a blank. Lone is Director, Employment. His father, Majeed Lone, was a well-known J&K police officer who was killed by militants.

"It's a shame and an insult to my political ideology. They have questioned 60 years of my family's political commitment. It was harassment and humiliation," said Beig. "I have security and 10 CRPF men guard my residence. What message are they sending out? Right or wrong, we acted as a bridge between Kashmir and India for the past 60 years," he said. "What will I tell my people, my constituency? They will ask me where are you leading us, they don't even trust you. I have no answer".

Beig said the police officer told him he had information that separatist leader Shabir Shah was hiding there. The police are also looking for separatist leaders Nayeem Khan, Masrat Alam - considered to be Syed Ali Shah Geelani's No.2 - and Bashir Bhat who are hiding after the arrest of Hurriyat's top leadership, including Geelani, Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

When contacted, a senior police officer told The Indian Express said: "We had asked our men to look for the separatist leaders," a senior officer said. "There were no specific instructions to check this particular house."

The raids come when separatists and the Valley's two key mainstream political parties, NC and PDP, are moving closer on the Amarnath land row and the call for CBMs.

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