Top separatist and chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Yasin Malik, has been detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA) and shifted to the high-security Kot Bhalwal Jail in Jammu.

The separatist leader was arrested by police in a late night raid on February 22 from his residence and was taken to the Kothibagh Police Station in Srinagar. He has now been shifted to Kot Bhalwal jail where the founder of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorist outfit Masood Azhar was lodged before being released in 1999 in exchange of the passengers of the IC-814 flight that was hijacked to Kandahar.

The CBI had recently filed a petition in the state high court seeking transfer of cases against Malik to Jammu from Srinagar. The cases, relating to the alleged kidnapping of Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of the then Home Minister Mufti Sayeed and sister of Mehbooba Mufti and killing of five IAF personnel in 1990, are pending for the past 29 years.

Malik is also accused of killing sessions judge Neelkanth Ganju who had awarded death sentence to JKLF terrorist Maqbool Bhat.

The CBI’s petition for transferring these cases to Jammu is listed for being heard on March 11. There were indications that the CBI was trying to expedite these high-profile cases that were moving slowly in Srinagar.

Malik was detained during the crackdown on the banned Jamaat-e-Islami leaders in Kashmir. His police security was recently withdrawn by the government.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) officers had also raided Malik’s Srinagar residence on February 26.