As many as 250 members of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), a youth wing of the ruling BJP, were arrested before they could take out a Tiranga (Tricolour) rally through restive Srinagar to mark Independence Day on Tuesday. BJYM national vice-president Ajaz Hussain and senior BJP leader Ashish Sareen were among those taken to the Ram Munshibagh police station.
Police took measures to avoid confrontation of the youth activists and locals in Srinagar, a city which has been in a state of unrest after the death of Burhan Wani.
Three militants, including Burhan Wani’s successor Yasin Itoo, were killed in an overnight gunfight that left two soldiers dead in south Kashmir’s Shopian district a few days ago. Indian security agencies described the development as a blow to the militant group’s operations in the state.
Meanwhile, separatist leaders, including hardline Hurriyat faction chief Syed Ali Geelani, had extended greetings to the Pakistan government on the neighbouring country’s Independence Day — celebrated on August 14. “After Allah Almighty, Pakistan is the only visible support to the people of Kashmir,” Geelani had said.