The Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani reiterated his state-wide shutdown call for February 27 (Saturday) against the detention of JNU students and Kashmiri scholar SAR Geelani by the Delhi police.
In a statement, Geelani termed as "ill-timed" P Chidambaram's "confession of the crime" where he (Chidambaram) said there were "grave doubts" over the involvement of Afzal Guru in the Indian Parliament attack.
"If speaking truth in India is sedition, then let BJP book P Chidambaram under the sedition law like it did SAR Geelani, Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid and detain him too in Tihar Jail. Whatever the background and reasons of Chidambaram's statement, this confession has put a big question mark over the justice system of India," Geelani said. "Since many legal experts and human rights activists had previously raised objections and questions regarding the trial of Afzal Guru, the importance of Chidambaram's statement is quite different and his statement can in no way be ignored. Chidambaram is a big man in the Indian politics and he was occupying a very important place in the UPA government and has also served as the Home Minister. Being an insider and a vital organ of the government, Chidambaram must be knowing everything about the reality of the Indian parliament attack and the implications of Afzal Guru hanging. So his statement has converted all those doubts into reality which were being raised about the hanging of the Afzal Guru," Geelani, who is currently in Delhi, said.
"Whatever the JNU students said on 9th February this year is not different from the confession of Chidambaram and if this expression amounts to sedition in India then Chidambaram should also be detained on charges of sedition. BJP should send him to Tihar jail."
Meanwhile, Police Friday detained several pro-freedom activists after they tried to take out a protest march to demand the release of former Delhi University professor SAR Geelani and end to "harassment" of Kashmiri students studying in New Delhi. The march was called by the Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani.
Yasmeen Raja, chairperson of Muslim Khawatein Markaz (MKM)—a Hurriyat (G) constituent—protested the detention of Prof SAR Geelani on sedition charges in New Delhi.
"Delhi is repeatedly harassing Kashmiri students and businessmen, one way or the other. We are not going to tolerate this," she said.
The protestors raised pro-justice and pro-freedom slogans. "People of J&K have their rights and we must be given the right to self-determination," they said.
"Booking students on charges of sedition has no moral justification and if Prof Geelani and Kanhaiya Kumar (JNU students' leader) and other students are not released soon, the entire Kashmir will come on streets and start protests," said Zamrooda Habib, the chairperson of Tehreek Khawteen Kashmir, another constituent of Hurriyat (G).
Scores of Hurriyat (G) activists staged protest demonstrations at Amira Kadal. The protestors led by senior Hurriyat activist Imtiyaz Haider also raised pro-freedom slogans.
Police swung into action and detained scores of protesters as they tried to march towards the main road.
Democratic Political Movement Chairman Firdous Ahmad Shah held a protest rally at Abi Guzar to express solidarity with Kashmiri students studying outside the State.
Scores of protesters carried placards and banners which had slogans on safety of Kashmiri students, outside Haji Masjid Maisuma here shortly after Friday congregational prayers.
Islamic Students League Chief Shakeel Ahmad Bhat was detained after he tried to take out a protest rally against the arrest of SAR Geelani in Maisuma locality of Srinagar. The ISL protesters demanded immediate release of Prof SAR Geelani, Kanhaiya Kumar and end to crackdown on JNU students and harassment to Kashmiri students in Delhi.
Meanwhile, in response to the Hurriyat (G) call, locals in Ganderbal offered funeral prayers in absentia for three militants who died in the recent Pampore encounter and staged protests against the arrest of SAR Geelani. Similar prayers and protests were held in Kangan.
At Beeru Budgam, hundreds of people who participated in a rally, offered funeral prayers in absentia—led by JKSM leader GA Azad—for three militants killed in the Pampore gunfight.
Meanwhile, Salvation Movement condemned the continuous house detention of its Chairman Zaffer Akbar Bhat and slammed authorities for not allowing him to offer Friday prayers.