Geelani Returns: Detained, Placed Under House Arrest3 March 2011
Srinagar: Police on Thursday detained the Chairman of Hurriyat (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani at the Srinagar Airport soon after his arrival from New Delhi. As soon as Geelani came out of the Airport terminal today afternoon, he was detained by a large posse of police and whisked away in an armored vehicle to his Hyderpora house. The veteran leader was immediately placed under house arrest and nobody including the journalists allowed to meet him. A heavy contingent of police and paramilitary soldiers were deployed around Geelani’s house and all along the way from Hyderpora to Srinagar Airport. “He (Geelani) was escorted to his home to prevent any law and order problem. He has not been detained,” the Senior Superintendent of Police Budgam, Uttam Chand, told Greater Kashmir. Geelani has termed his house arrest as Government’s frustration. “I will not be cowed down by these pressure tactics. If the Government believes that it can suppress the ongoing movement by arrests and detentions, it is living in a fool’s paradise. The movement will go on till Kashmir issue is resolved according to aspirations of Kashmiris and in accordance with UN resolutions,” Geelani told Greater Kashmir. The spokesman of Hurriyat (G) Ayaz Akbar said Geelani was scheduled to visit Sopore and extended condolence to the families of two girls, Arifa and Akhtar, who were killed by unidentified gunmen last month. He said after Sopore, Geelani intended to visit Chogul Handwara and Maloora where a youth Manzoor Ahmad Magray was gunned down by Army and three children of a family were killed in an explosion caused by a shell. “Geelani Sahib had no plans to address any rally or stage protests. He just wanted to share the grief of the bereaved families. Government is bent upon to suppress Geelani Sahib for spearheading the ongoing movement. He was imprisoned under Public Safety Act for nearly 40 days last year. After his release, he was continuously kept under house arrest for 140 days without giving him grounds of detention. This also belies the claims of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah that Geelani Sahib is a free man,” Akbar said. Geelani, who is suffering with various ailments, had left for New Delhi on January 27 for medical check-up. On February 20, the Delhi Police had barred Geelani from leaving New Delhi without recording his statement in the Hawala case. On Hurriyat (G) call, Kashmir has observed a complete shutdown on February 22 to protest against curbs on Geelani’s movement. A special team of Delhi Police had detained Geelani at the Delhi Airport on March 1 when he was on way to board a flight to Srinagar. However, he was released after questioning at Lodhi Road Police Station.