Srinagar, Nov 10: Police on Saturday foiled the seminar organised by Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani on the Amarnath controversy.
Since early morning police did not allow anyone to enter Geelani’s residence at Hyderpora here, the venue of the seminar. A large contingent of policemen in riot gears was deployed around his residence that stopped participants of the seminar from entering the venue. Those stopped included party activists, journalists, civil society members, lawyers, traders and transporters. The domestic workers of Geelani were also not allowed to enter the house.
“Later in the afternoon, some Hurriyat workers were allowed to go inside the residence,” eyewitnesses said.
Condemning the police action, Geelani dared Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to lift siege around his house. “If he has courage and sense of morality, he should face us politically and see the results. It is a shame for the CM to use police as a tool of suppression on us,” Geelani told Greater Kashmir.
Terming the foiling of seminar as State terrorism, Geelani said, “On one side India is beating the drum of democracy, on the other they are muzzling the voice of people by the dent of gun. The military is ruling Kashmir and law and justice is tarnished day in and day out.”
However, Geelani said the ‘pressure tactics’ will not deter him. “We will organize our agitation in any way and mobilize public against the evil designs of Amarnath Shrine Board. We will continue to reach out to various sections of society on the issue. Soon we will distribute literature on the issue to create awareness among the people about the designs of Shrine Board,” he said.
“It is not for the first time that government has foiled our seminar. On 6th of November also government did not allow us to organize seminar on the five lakh martyrs of Jammu region,” Geelani said.
Police declined to comment on the disruption of the seminar.
Taking a dig at New Delhi for its ‘double standards,’ Geelani said, “Fifty times more yatris come to Kashmir as compared to the past. About 630,000 yatris visited Kashmir this year. However, only 18000 yatris are allowed to visit Gangotri pilgrimage site every year in the BJP-ruled state of Uttrakhand. Environmental experts say that 55,000 kilograms of waste are littered everyday by the yatris. Since 1990, 40 percent of glaciers have melted away due to heavy presence of yatris in these areas where 15 to 18 thousand yatris visit every day.”
Appealing the Pandit families to look after the management of Amarnath yatra in the state, Geelani said, “Muslims should join hands with them to provide all-needed support like horses and other things. In the past, Muslims used to see off Pandit brothers for the yatra near Akhara Building Lal Chowk and Malik family of Batpora Islamabad used to assist them at the cave.”