Angry over government not allowing a religious conference at Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani's residence here, pro-freedom leaders on Monday questioned the government that if Amarnath Yatra and RSS marches are facilitated, why an Islamic function is disallowed by using force.
Tehreek-e-Hurriyat had organised a Seerat conference on Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi (SAW), the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), at Geelani's Hyderpora residence where Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Miwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik were also invited to address besides various other religious clerics of Kashmir.
Since early morning there was a huge deployment of police outside Geelani's residence and also at the main road just outside the lane leading to his residence. No one was allowed to enter the venue of the conference by the police.
JKLF chief managed to reach Hyderpora but he was pushed back by the heavy contingent of police.
While Geelani continues to remain under house arrest, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz wasn't allowed to come out of his Nigeen residence.
A senior police official outside Geelani's residence said that they have "directions from the top" not to allow the Seerat conference "as there can be a law and order issue."
"They have invited many Hurriyat leaders and religious clerics and there is a chance of law and order problem," the police officer said.
The government move to disallow the Seerat conference angered the entire pro-freedom camp prompting them seek a clarification from the government as to why the Islamic conference was foiled.
Hurriyat Conference (G) spokesman said the government is acting as a tool of New Delhi in Kashmir. "Curbs on peaceful academic and religious activities across Kashmir testify our claim that J&K is a Police State. Today's program was purely a religious and academic exercise to be conducted within the four walls," the spokesman said. "It would not have disrupted normal life or traffic, but still the authorities banned it. The authorities offer verbal greetings on the auspicious occasions, but forcibly strangulate any religious function where Prophet Muhammad's (SAW) message was supposed to be spread."
A Tehreek-e-Hurriyat spokesman said that it was strange that the authorities during the annual Amarnath Yatra provide every facility and even arrange boarding and lodging facilities for the pilgrims but on the other hand, a simple Islamic function is banned. "Even RSS activists are permitted to carry their activities by conducting parades with weapons, in a bid to scare minorities in Jammu. But a Seerat conference-like function is banned on the pretext of law and order."
JKLF Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik took a dig at the government for disallowing the seminar. "Facilitating Dussehra and Amartnath Yatra and banning Islamic functions speaks volumes about the religious disparity practiced by New Delhi and J&K government. Banning an indoor Seerat conference and stopping people from participating in it is a glaring example of Muslim animosity practiced by Delhi and its agents in Kashmir," Malik said.
Condemning the alleged police highhandedness and "anti-Muslim approach by PDP-BJP dispensation," JKLF chairman said that from a long time J&K is witnessing "communal disparity." "Kashmiri Muslims are not averse to facilitating any religious ritual and have always stood for religious harmony and equality but facts speak volumes about the disparity by the government," Malik said.
He said that one is surprised how can an indoor conference on Seerat cause a law and order problem. "I wonder how low these PDP rulers can steep for their lust of power and authority. The way Muslims are being ill-treated by PDP-BJP rulers in J&K that too at the behest of RSS is highly condemnable and it has exposed the deceitful politics by the ruling parties," Malik said.
According to Hurriyat (M) spokesman Advocate Shahid-ul-Islam, the chairman of the amalgam Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was scheduled to attend the Seerat Conference. "Because of his continuous house arrest he could not leave his house. We strongly condemn the police action to sabotage the religious conference," he said.
Terming the action of police and administration as extremely "dictatorial and fascist," the spokesman said such an act amounts to direct intervention of government in the religious matters of individuals. "Such actions are intolerable and anti-religion," he said.