The state police on Friday arrested one of the two activists of the hardline Hurriyat Conference who were allegedly involved in a conspiracy to engineer violence in Kashmir valley by planning the killing of 10 to 15 people during a procession.
The police swooped down at a place on Narbal-Magam Road and arrested Shabir Ahmed Wani, district president of the Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, after his conversation with another activist Ghulam Ahmed Dar was intercepted.
The two were allegedly discussing ways to foment trouble during a procession which was taken out in Budgam district of central Kashmir, official sources said.
Wani may be charged under the stringent Public Safety Act, under which he can be detained for two years, said sources, adding that a hunt was on to nab Dar, who had gone into hiding immediately after the conversation was made public.
Involvement of hardline separatists in engineering some of the violence in the Kashmir valley was indicated by the intercepted conversation between the two of them. The duo discussed the killing of at least 15 people in a procession near Srinagar on July 7.
A large procession had started in Budgam district on the outskirts of Srinagar on Thursday evening and two senior office-bearers of the hardline Hurriyat faction discussed how to utilise it to create casualties, according to the transcript of the conversation available with the home ministry.
According to the transcript, one of the office-bearers, Dar, was heard telling Wani, another office-bearer, that a procession of nearly 20,000 people had started from Magam and was going towards Budgam. At least 10 to 15 people should be 'martyred' as the crowd moved, Dar had told Wani.
However, the police had dispersed the procession with a mild cane charge and no untoward incident had taken place.