May 2001 News

Geelani alleges plot to divide Shias, Sunnis

25 May 2001
The Indian Express
Nazir Masoodi

Srinagar: PAYING scant attention to the latest developments, Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, in separate speeches at Shia-dominated Magam, alleged that conspiracies were being hatched to create a wedge between Shia and Sunni Muslims to weaken the Kashmir movement. With Gelani’s arrival, the 15-day-long strike in Magam town came to an end. The strike had been called to protest against alleged atrocities by security forces and the Special Operation Group (SOG) of the police against the people of the town. The town folks demanded the removal of SOG and BSF camps from the town. ‘‘You should not observe bandh and go for a long strike for the removal of a mere bunker or battalion. We are fighting a long battle. Our struggle is aimed at the removal of six lakh Indian troops from Kashmir,’’ Geelani said, asking the people to resume their daily routine. The town has shut down since May 10 after the SOG and BSF personnel allegedly committed atrocities against the people following a bomb explosion on May 9 which killed 11 persons. Earlier, two Hurriyat leaders, including a Shia clergyman, had visited the town and appealed to the people to resume their normal routine. However, the town still remained closed. Referring to the unity among Shias and Sunnis, Geelani said: ‘‘Conspiracies are being engineered to weaken the ongoing movement in Kashmir which has survived the Indian onslaught for the past 12 years. Islam is the source of inspiration for this movement. Our unity and commitment towards our goal is strengthening it,’’ Geelani said while addressing two separate religious gatherings at Imambara Magam and Jama Masjid Makhama. -He blamed security forces for large-scale human rights violations in the town. Geelani asked the people to prepare for a long battle, asking them to continue with the resistance of the ‘‘Indian occupation’’. Meanwhile, sources said that the government has shifted the team from the SOG camp. The SHO, Police Station Magam, was also transferred today, they added.


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