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Tuesday, 26 March, 2002, 11:23 GMT
Kashmir separatist remanded
Protests in Srinagar
The JKLF has been pushing for a political solution
A leading Kashmiri separatist, Yasin Malik, has been remanded in custody for a week after his arrest under controversial anti-terrorist laws.

It is a serious development and we will have to counter it

Omer Farooq
senior separatist leader

Police in Srinagar, the capital of Indian-administered Kashmir, used tear gas on Tuesday for the second day running to disperse violent protests against his arrest.

Mr Malik, who heads the separatist Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), was seized by police on Monday while he was addressing a press conference.

The police say he was arrested after a man and a woman allegedly smuggled $100,000 into Kashmir from Pakistan which was intended for him.

The remand order came as India's parliament convened a rare joint session to debate the new terrorism law, which critics say is draconian and oppressive.

Burning barricades

The judge who handed down the remand order has also asked medical authorities to form a team of doctors to monitor Mr Malik, who has a heart condition.

Dozens of young activists took the streets near Mr Malik's Srinagar residence, setting up burning barricades and throwing stones at security forces.

Yasin Malik after his arrest
Mr Malik's arrest has triggered violent protests

The arrest was condemned by Kashmir's main separatist alliance, the All Party Hurriyat Conference, of which Mr Malik is also an executive member.

According to the AFP news agency, senior Hurriyat leader Omer Farooq described his detention as a "gross misuse of power and politically motivated".

"It is a serious development and we will have to counter it," Mr Farooq was quoted as saying.

Mr Malik is being held under the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) bill, which the Indian government is trying to pass formally into law.

The joint session in Delhi debating the law is only the third of its kind since India gained independence in 1947.

But opposition parties fear the increased powers will be misused by the security forces, and have described the measures as draconian.

They lay down provisions for curbing funding for suspected terrorists, confiscating their property and allowing for the detention of suspects for up to 90 days without trial.

'Smuggled cash'

On Sunday, police arrested a Kashmiri militant, Mushtaq Ahmed Dar, and a Kashmiri girl during a random police check on the main highway leading to Srinagar, and found them to be carrying $100,000.

Indian soldier checking handcart
India accuses Pakistan of arming separatists

The girl reportedly told police that the money had been handed over to them in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, by a Pakistan-based Kashmiri separatist, and was to be delivered to Mr Malik.

Police have now charged the two people under a special anti-terrorist law.

But Mr Malik denied the allegations.

He told journalists before his arrest that he would quit the separatist movement if it was proved that the money was being sent to him from Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Mr Malik's JKLF is one of the oldest separatist organisations and favours the independence of Kashmir from both India and Pakistan.

The JKLF declared a unilateral ceasefire in 1994 and since then has concentrated on pushing their cause politically.

See also:

25 Mar 02 | South Asia
Kashmir separatist on terror charges
12 Feb 02 | South Asia
Kashmir separatists announce poll move
02 Nov 01 | South Asia
Kashmiri separatist leader attacked
27 Sep 01 | South Asia
Security fears for Kashmir separatists
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