Pandits heckle Geelani
New Delhi, Oct 21: A shoe was thrown towards Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani at a function here today as a group of people, including Kashmiri Pandits, staged a strong protest against his presence.
The protestors, shouting slogans like ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’, created ruckus at the convention on ‘Azaadi--The Only Way’ which was being attended by a number of sympathizers of Kashmiri separatists and naxals.
Though Geelani was yet to speak, the protesters numbering around 70 shouted slogans asking him to leave.
Amid the pandemonium, someone threw a shoe towards Geelani on the dais but it missed him.
A human chain was immediately thrown around him on the dais by the security personnel and organisers to protect the leaders on the dais.
The protestors were taken out by police personnel.
At the time of the protest, S A R Geelani, a lecturer who was accused in the Parliament attack case but later set free, was speaking on the topic.
AGAINST DEMOCRATIC TRADITIONS: OMAR
Reacting to the incident, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said it was against the democratic traditions of the country where freedom of speech, no matter how unpalatable, is a right which needs to be respected and protected.
The Chief Minister said ‘the strength of our democracy is in its values of tolerance and to allow a fearless expression of dissent only strengthens the democratic fabric of the country.’
He said, “Our democracy is a matured democracy and is capable of absorbing political dissent and diverse view points and so we should provide every individual an opportunity to air his or her opinion in a democratic manner.”
He said the right to debate, disagree and reject anybody’s views is also an inherent part of democracy but the rebuttal must be decent and the response and disagreement must be civil and best expressed in a democratic fashion.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 21 Oct 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 21 Oct 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 22 Oct 2010 00:00:00 IST
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