Wednesday, 27 March 2002  
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India arrests Kashmiri rebel under anti-terror law

SRINAGAR, India, March 25 (Reuters) - A senior leader of Indian Kashmir's main separatist alliance was detained on Monday under an anti-terrorism law after police earlier picked up a woman they said was carrying thousands of dollars for him.

Yasin Malik, an executive member of All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference, was detained by police as he was addressing a news conference in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir state.

"Malik was arrested today afternoon for further investigations under Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance," K.Rajendra Kumar, Inspector General of Police, told Reuters.

The law sets strict rules for arrest and interrogation and allows suspects to be detained for 30 days without appearing in court.

Police said Malik, who is also chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), was detained on the basis of statements made by a woman arrested late on Sunday under the same law.

"A lady, Shazia Begum, was arrested by police while carrying $100,000. This amount was being carried by her to Srinagar for Yasin Malik," Kumar said.

Police lobbed a tear gas shell when Malik's supporters tried to stop police vehicles after he was detained. "Long live JKLF. We want freedom," his supporters shouted.

More than 33,000 people have been killed since 1989 when Islamic guerrillas seeking either independence or union with Pakistan launched a revolt in the mountainous region.

India, which controls 45 percent of disputed Kashmir, accuses Pakistan of arming and training Islamic militants. Pakistan, which rules over a third, denies the charge and says it only offers moral support to Kashmiri separatists.

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