Top separatist leaders, including chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference, have been placed under house arrest by authorities to foil their plans of holding a rally at Eidgah tomorrow to commemorate the death anniversaries of Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone.
While hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has been under house arrest since his return from Delhi on March 7, restrictions were imposed on the movement of chairman of moderate faction Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Saturday, official sources said.
The moderate faction had planned a big rally at Eidgah in old city to pay homage to Farooq and Lone, who were shot dead by militants on May 21 in 1990 and 2002 respectively.
Although separatists used to hold a rally every year on May 21 at Eidgah, the authorities imposed curbs on these rallies following the 2010 summer unrest.
The officials have conveyed to Mirwaiz that the government will not allow the Hurriyat to hold the rally at Eidgah tomorrow.
"Deputy Commissioner Srinagar and SSP Srinagar called on Mirwaiz at his Nigeen residence this evening and informed him that he will not be allowed to hold the rally tomorrow," media advisor of Hurriyat Shahidul Islam told PTI.
Restrictions are likely to be imposed in the old city tomorrow to thwart any attempts by the supporters of the Mirwaiz to stage protests.
Cutting across party lines, mainstream and separatists paid rich tributes to the slain leaders and highlighted their contribution for the upliftment of the society.
"Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq was a staunch supporter of Indo-Pak friendship and unity among the Muslims in Kashmir, while Lone had played an important role in the betterment of the people and politics in the state," National Conference working president and Union Minister Farooq Abdullah said in a statement here.
The enemies of Kashmiris snatched the two leaders from the people, Abdullah said and expressed hope that Mirwaiz's son will follow the footsteps of his father and lead the Muslims besides working for return of peace to the Valley and betterment of the people.
Meanwhile, PDP patron and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said "the two slain leaders during their struggle for the dignity and honour of the people upheld values which will remain as an asset with us."
Recalling his personal relations with them, Mufti said both were ardent lovers of people of the state and had dedicated themselves for ultimate public good.
"It is unfortunate that they fell to the bullets of the assassins at a time when their presence on the political scene was needed the most," he said.
"Their unfinished task on reconciliation and dialogue on Kashmir remains sacred trust with PDP and we will continue to struggle for the fulfilment of that unfinished task," Mufti said adding "every time I remember the two leaders I am reminded of the pain their families, large number of people at large suffered as a result of mindless violence."
Paying tributes to the slain leaders, CPI (M) State Secretary Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said Delhi must respond to the "huge sacrifices" offered by people of Kashmir espousing cause for political stability in the region.
"With the loss of two leaders like Mirwaiz and Lone a vacuum was created in the political spectrum of Kashmir. Both the leaders as great sons of the soil, who laid down their lives for peace, brotherhood and peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue," he said.
Tarigami said with the successful elections in Pakistan, it is high time for both the countries to pick up threads from where they had left them long back.
"There is a huge responsibility on the heads of India and Pakistan to work towards the permanent settlement of Kashmir issue for which the leaders like Mirwaiz and Lone laid down their precious lives," Tarigami said.
Chairman of hardline Hurriyat Syed Ali Shah Geelani in a statement said the best tribute to the leaders is to remain steadfast and uphold the sacrifices rendered over the past two decades.