The National Investigation Agency on Tuesday conducted searches at Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairperson Yasin Malik’s residence in Maisuma area of Srinagar. The NIA and police forces cordoned off Malik’s residence around 7.30 am and began searches, Greater Kashmir reported.

“The area has been cordoned from every side and even press is not being allowed to move in the area,” a spokesperson for the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front said.

The separatist leader had been detained on February 22. No reason was given for the detention. He is now lodged at the Kothibagh police station.

Police and paramilitary forces have been put on high alert amid reports of a wider crackdown on separatists in the state. The Centre has moved an additional hundred companies of paramilitary forces to Srinagar to boost security.

On Sunday, a shutdown called by the Joint Resistance Leadership was observed in the Kashmir Valley against Malik’s detention, and the arrest of several activists of the extremist Jamaat-e-Islami group.

Last week, the state government withdrew security cover from several Kashmiri separatist leaders, including Malik, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Shabir Shah and Saleem Geelani. The move to withdraw security cover came a week after 40 Central Reserve Police Force jawans were killed in a suicide bombing in Pulwama district.