Srinagar: Over 10 separatist leaders, including JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, were taken into preventive custody and several others were placed under house arrest to scuttle protests after Friday prayers against the Army’s recent decision to close Pathribal fake encounter case.

Malik and 10 of his senior party colleagues were detained when they tried to take out a march to Lal Chowk from their headquarters at Maisuma in the heart of the city this afternoon, police sources said.

JKLF had announced a march to Lal Chowk after Friday prayers to protest the Army’s decision to close the Pathribal fake encounter case by giving clean chit to its personnel.

“Killing civilians in the name of foreign militants and then giving killers clean chit is an ugly stain on the Indian democracy… The family of the victims are waiting for justice for the last 14 years,” Malik told the gathering before the police action.

He claimed there is no logic behind closing the case as even CBI has described the killing of seven persons at Pathribal as cold-blooded murders and pleaded for exemplary punishment to the accused officials.

“After 14 years we are being told that army has found no evidence of the involvement of its men in the massacre and that army has closed this case,” he said, adding “Kashmiris will not take this issue lightly and will continue their protest with full force.”

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