Srinagar, Dec 17 (PTI) Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was taken into preventive custody after he tried take out a march here on Monday against the killing of seven civilians during an encounter in Kashmir’s Pulwama district, officials said.Also Read - Drone Shot Down in J&K's Kanachak, Explosive Material Recovered

The action was taken as Farooq tried to defy house arrest and take out the march to the Army’s Chinar Corps headquarters in the Badami Bagh area here, they said. Also Read - Mumbai Rains: Death Toll Rises to 31 in Landslide, House-collapse Incidents; NDRF Ends Search & Rescue Ops

The separatists, under the banner of the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mohammad Yasin Malik, had called for the march against the killings. Also Read - Delimitation, Statehood, Assembly Elections | 5 Takeways From PM Modi's All-Party Meet With J&K Leaders

Seven civilians died and several others were injured allegedly when security forces opened fire at a mob that thronged the site of an encounter in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district in which three terrorists and a soldier were killed on Saturday.

Mirwaiz stepped out of his Nigeen residence to lead his supporters towards the Chinar Corps headquarters, a police official said.

The separatist leader was, however, taken into preventive custody by police personnel posted outside his residence, the official said.

Mirwaiz was shifted to the Nigeen police station.

Before being taken to the police station, Mirwaiz said the security forces have “become a killing machine”.

“The killing of 10 Kashmiri’s including an 8th standard student, young fathers, sons and brothers, is deeply saddening. After indiscriminate killings, civilians are branded as over ground workers and terrorists which is preposterous in itself, but what is worse is that this propaganda is used as a means of endorsing and justifying the civilians killings by armed forces,” he said.

Mirwaiz alleged that the government had overplayed the “terrorist/Pak proxy/instigators card and no one was buying this narrative except some people in India at whom it is aimed for electoral gains”.

Extending his condolences to the bereaved families, the Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman said people are not even allowed to express sorrow and mourn these brutalities as the “tormentors give no space to grieve collectively and express the overwhelming emotions at these killings”.

“We can only express our sorrow and outrage by stopping our daily business, as each day we lose valuable lives.

“Shutdown is the only collective response left with us to express our condolences our sorrow our solidarity and our outrage to such atrocities. Every other space for expression of our emotions is barred by force,” he said.

The JRL had also called a three-day strike following the Saturday incident.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.