J&K High Court Bar Association on Sunday condemned what it termed as "rude act of police authorities" in disallowing its president Advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom to meet senior separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani at his residence.
"Mian Qayoom wanted to discuss some important legal issues with him (Geelani) including the one of initiating legal proceedings against some Indian News Channels, who at the behest of Goverment of India (GoI) have started a camping of vilification against Syed Ali Shah Geelani and others, stating that the 'GoI is spending a huge amount for providing security to them." general secretary of HCBA Bashir Sidiq said in a statement.
"Though Mr. Geelani, on his part, has never asked for any security from the State or Central Government, as he feels secure in his own people. The State government has however, placed him under house arrest from 2009 and kept a police contingent outside his home, so that he does not move out and meet the people outside, which by no stretch of imagination can be described "a security cover provided to him". He has always asked for the removal of the police contingent and has also approached the High Court of J&K in 2009 which has declared him a free man to go anywhere he would like, but the authorities have not honoured the order of the High Court, for which contempt proceedings have also been filed against them," it said.
The statement said on August 31, when President of the Bar Association alongwith advocate Muhammad Ashraf Bhat wanted to meet Geelani they were not allowed the entry.
"S.P. Budgam, Abdul Waheed, in the evening conveyed to Muhammad Ashraf Bhat, that he is extremely sorry for the police action and that it is because of some misunderstanding that they were not allowed to meet Syed Ali Shah Geelani and that they are free to meet him anytime they like. However, today when cops didn't allow the president to meet Syed Ali Shah Geelani, he called S.P. Budgam and enquired from him, as to why the policemen are not allowing him to meet Hurriyat (G) Chairman. On this S.P. Waheed informed the president that he will talk to the higher authorities and would call him back. The president waited for about 15 minutes and when he heard nothing from the SP, he left the spot," the statement said.
"Thus the method and manner, in which the President of the Bar Association was treated by the police officials and was not allowed to meet Syed Ali Shah Geelani, clearly shows that there is nothing in the hands of a Head of the police in any District of Kashmir and everything is monitored by Delhi and even for a small thing, like the present one, the S.P. had to seek permission from the higher authorities and more likely from the Home Minister of India. This also exposes the double standards of the police authorities in dealing with the people of Kashmir," it said.
"The Bar Association once again wants to make it clear to the authorities that while a person is under house arrest, he is not stripped of any of his fundamental rights, the most important being the Right to Communicate with his lawyer and pursue any remedy available to him under law. It is arbitrary, unreasonable, irrational and against the fundamental freedoms recognized by the International Law, not to allow any person to pursue the legal remedy, available to him under law or meet his counsel of his choice. The non-observance of these basic fundamentals of human dignity, are bound to bring disgrace to those who infringe these rights with impunity," the spokesperson added.
Condemning the killings and arrests in Kashmir, the HCBA according to the statement has decided that in view of the "grave situation" in Kashmir, it will submit a resolution to the President of the Security Council for discussing the "grave human rights violations in the ensuing general session U.N. General Assembly and ask India to stop the genocide of Kashmiri people and give them their right of self-determination without any further bloodbath."