No hartal till 10th Muharram: Geelani

Srinagar, Dec 9: Withdrawing his shutdown call for Saturday, December 11, the chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani Thursday said there would be no shutdown in the first 10 day...

Srinagar, Dec 9: Withdrawing his shutdown call for Saturday, December 11, the chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani Thursday said there would be no shutdown in the first 10 days of Muharram-ul-Harram. He however urged people to stage an hour-long peaceful protest after Friday prayers on the International Human Rights Day on December 10.
 A Hurriyat (G) spokesman said the decisions were taken on the request of Tehreek-e-Wahadat-e-Islami—a political and religious organization of Shia community and constituent of Hurriyat (G)—in view of Muharram functions.
 Geelani urged the people to hold an hour-long peaceful protest on Friday to highlight the human rights violations being allegedly perpetrated by the police and other armed forces across Kashmir.
 Expressing strong resentment over the arrest and detention of political leaders, Geelani alleged that the police had unleashed a vigorous drive of arrests against pro-freedom people across the Valley. "Instead of releasing the political detainees, the police are arresting other political leaders and activists and stuffing them in jails," he said.
 Reacting sharply to the arrest of Raja Begum, an old widow of Model Town, Sopore, Geelani said the police had razed her residential house to ground before arresting her. Condemning, what he said, the frequent raids on the residence of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat member Nazir Ahmad Shah of Sopore, Geelani alleged that the police was trying to involve him in the "militant related activities." "Nazir is a political activist and is not involved in any underground activities," he said.
 Geelani expressed concern over the deteriorating health of incarcerated Hurriyat leader Peer Saifullah in jail. He alleged that the political detainees in Kupwara sub jail were treated like convicted criminals and denied medical aid and other basic facilities.
 Geelani has appealed to the international human rights organizations and Red Cross to focus attention on the "deplorable plight" of Kashmiri detainees serving detention in and outside Valley jails and use influence for their immediate release.

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