Geelani’s Friday house arrest continues
‘Govt Trying To Disconnect Me From My People’
ARIF SHAFI WANI
Srinagar, July 1: There seems to be no end to the house arrests of Chairman Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani. And the veteran leader minces no words to accuse the Government of using house arrest as a tool to de-link him from the people.
If Hurriyat (G) is to be believed, Geelani was free for just 60 days since January this year. For rest of the days, particularly Fridays, the veteran leader was put under house arrest. In May this year, none other than Chief Minister Omar Abdullah stated that he would not make his bete noire Geelani a hero by imposing restrictions on him. However, Geelani tryst with house arrest continues.
“Placing me under house arrest despite Omar Abdullah’s statement clearly signifies that police is at the helm of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir. Government is frustrated by the overwhelming support of the people to the conglomerate’s programs. The authorities are leaving no stone unturned to de-link me from my people by using the house arrest as a tool,” Geelani told Greater Kashmir.
“If Government can hold a senior leader like me hostage on gun-point, the fate of common Kashmiris can be imagined,” Geelani said.
Geelani said he was scheduled to address a rally at Humhama today to mark the death anniversary of people killed there during last year’s unrest. “Thousands of people were scheduled to participate in the rally during which the conglomerate would have pressed for release of political prisoners. However, as I stepped out of my house, a heavy contingent of police stopped me saying I have been placed under house arrest,” he said.
Geelani said he inquired from the duty officer about the order by virtue of which he has been placed under house arrest. “The duty officer told me that he has received orders from his seniors not to allow me to move out of the house.”
Pertinently, a member of Amnesty International, Bikramjeet Batra, during a visit to Geelani’s house on May 25 had taken strong exception to Geelani’s “illegal detention.”
Batra had asked the police to show the formal order under which Geelani was not allowed to move outside his house. However, the policemen posted outside the house said they had served no order but were ‘following the orders of their superiors.’ Later police had allowed Geelani to move for a few days.
“Government has been staging a drama to befool the international community about the ground realities in Kashmir. In collusion with the Indian intelligence agencies, the State Government has been trying to defame our peaceful movement. However, we want to maintain that despite these pressure tactics, we will continue to carry forward our movement to its logical conclusion,” Geelani said.
Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar said the conglomerate has filed a writ petition in the Court to challenge Geelani’s house arrests. “This year Geelani Sahib was only free for 60 days. He was imprisoned under Public Safety Act for nearly 40 days last year. After his release, he was continuously kept under house arrest for 140 days without giving him grounds of detention. This clearly shows that the Government wants to crush Geelani Sahib’s resolve and de-link him from people,” Akbar said.
“Geelani Sahib has also been debarred from offering Friday prayers. This is sheer discrimination and infringement of religious rights. We strongly condemn the Government’s illegal action and urge the international human rights organizations to take note of it,” Akbar said.
When contacted, a senior police officer, wishing anonymity, said, “There are various reasons for keeping Geelani under house arrest. We apprehend there might be some breach in peace if he is allowed to address public rallies particularly on Fridays.”
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 2 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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