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Tight security for Hurriyat journey

June 01, 2005 20:58 IST

The Jammu and Kashmir government has made arrangements and taken security measures to ensure a hassle-free journey for separatist leaders going to Pakistan occupied Kashmir through the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route for the first time on Thursday.

"We are taking all measures to ensure a hassle free journey for the Hurriyat leaders from Srinagar to Kaman bridge, the last point on Indian territory en route to Muzaffarabad, the capital of PoK," officials said in Srinagar.

Hurriyat sources said the delegation plans to start the journey in a procession from its Rajbagh headquarters.

All leaders have expressed their desire to travel in their vehicles up to the Kaman post rather than travel in a government bus from Srinagar.

"We have received requests from the separatists to undertake the journey in their vehicles and are discussing it," the officials said, indicating the authorities may give a green signal to them to reach the border town of Uri in their vehicles, but will have to board government buses from there to the Kaman post.

The media or supporters of the separatist leaders will not be allowed to proceed beyond Salamabad as there is little room available at the Kaman post, the sources said.

They said the decision was taken after complaints by some passengers that they faced trouble while crossing the Line of Control due to a large media presence.

Security has been beefed up along the 120 km route from Srinagar to the Kaman post to prevent the militants from disrupting the journey, official sources said.

Besides a delegation of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference including its chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, former Hurriyat chairmen Abdul Gani Bhat and Moulana Mohammad Abbas Ansari, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Mohammad Yaseen Malik, Democratic Freedom Party President Shabir Ahmad Shah and his deputy Mohammad Abdullah Tari will undertake the journey.

While the moderates will undertake the journey on Thursday, the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani has declined Pakistan's invitation.

The Al Nasireen, Al Arifeen, Save Kashmir Movement and Farzandan-e-Millat which have opposed the bus service have hailed Geelani's decision and criticised the moderates for undertaking the journey.


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