Early this morning, police put restrictions on the movement of the several separatist leaders including moderate Hurriyat Chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Maulana Mohammad Abbas Ansari, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, Shabir Ahmad Shah and Ayaz Akbar.

Security personnel  were deployed outside the Hydrepora residence of Geelani, the hardline Hurriyat chief who is already under house arrest. JKLF Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was taken into preventive custody from his Maisuma residence and lodged at police station Kothibagh.

Officials were tight lipped on the reason for the detention but there was speculation that it could have been done to give a message to Pakistan that its engagement with separatists leaders was not welcome, especially at a time when their National Security Advisors are to meet.

But, in a U-turn, the authorities lifted the curbs on the leaders, again without giving any reason. "All the separatist leaders, who were detained or put under house arrest this morning, have been released," a top police official said on the condition of anonymity.

However, Akbar, who is spokesman of the hardline faction of Hurriyat, said while other leaders were released, Geelani was still under house arrest. "We are unable to make out the purpose behind putting the leadership under house arrest and then releasing them within two hours. All we can say that it is unfortunate," Akbar told reporters soon after his release.

Read More: Kashmiri separatists put under house arrest ahead of meet with Pakistan NSA

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