July 2003 News

Bilal Lone Blames Geelani For Father's Killing

12 July 2003
The Times of India

New Delhi: People's Conference chairman Bilal Gani Lone, who is the son of the slain All Party Hurriyat Conference leader Abdul Gani Lone, has sought a probe into the killing of his father. In a letter to Abdul Ghani Bhat, Hurriyat chairman till Friday, Bilal has pointed a finger at controversial APHC leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani as the person behind the assassination. However, the APHC elected Maulana Abbas Ansari as its chairman Saturday. Ansari is a noted Shia leader of the valley and it is to be seen what steps APHC takes under his leadership with regard to Bilal's letter. 'Dear Bhat Sahib...Let a committee be formed to investigate the statements of the colleagues of Lone Sahib. Let the committee decide whether the statements, especially those issued by Geelani Sahib, were provocative enough to have triggered the assassination..,' Bilal wrote to the Hurriyat chief. Bilal further tells the Hurriyat chief: 'We appreciate the speed exhibited in framing committees to probe the possible breach of discipline by Peoples' Conference. Why is this speed missing in other cases? Have you framed any committee to probe the death of our esteemed leader and your colleague Shaheed-e-Hurriyat Abdul Gani Lone? ' 'Despite our written plea no committee has been formed to probe statements made by various constituents of the Hurriyat against Lone Sahib prior to his assassination. Our people are of the view that the statements were a major contributory factor in the assassination of our dear leader. Has any action been initiated against these constituents? Or is it not a matter big enough to be probed?' Bilal asks the Hurriyat chief. Asked for his comments on Bilal's allegations against him, Geelani said, 'I am not bothered what they say. First they - People's Conference - should be expelled from the APHC.' Geelani has been demanding action against the People's Conference, a constituent of the 23-party Hurriyat conglomerate, for 'defying discipline and fielding proxy candidates', in the last year's assembly elections. (The APHC had decided to boycott the state assembly elections). Geelani had even threatened to form another party if the Hurriyat chief failed to take action against the Peoples Conference. However, Geelani suffered a major setback as his own party Jamaat-e-Islami rejected his suggestion to set up a parallel group outside the Hurriyat Conference. Hurriyat leaders have also not taken kindly to remarks made by Geelani and are reportedly confused about their further course of action. 'All this has widened the rift in the Hurriyat camp, a government observer of the Jammu and Kashmir politics said.


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