South Asia

Top Kashmir separatist leader arrested

Masrat Alam
Image caption Officials say Mr Alam was responsible for recent protests in the valley (Photo: Abid Bhat)

Police in Indian-administered Kashmir have arrested a prominent separatist leader who they say has been responsible for the recent protests against Indian rule in the valley.

Masrat Alam was arrested from a relative's home on the outskirts of the summer capital Srinagar on Monday.

Authorities have imposed a curfew in the valley on Tuesday fearing violence after Mr Alam's arrest.

More than 100 Kashmiris have been killed since June in the protests.

Police said Mr Alam went underground after launching the anti-India protests in June.

The "Quit Kashmir movement" has been marked by shut-downs and protests by stone pelting crowds and put life on hold in the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley for the last four months, says the BBC's Altaf Hussain in Srinagar.

Senior separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani took over leadership of the protests soon after his release from prison in August.

Meanwhile, the Indian government has announced a range of measures aimed at defusing tension in the valley.

They include appointing mediators to begin a dialogue with people in the valley, re-opening all schools and universities which were closed during recent unrest and pulling down some security bunkers.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in Kashmir since an armed revolt erupted in 1989.

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