Army Plots To Eliminate Me: Geelani14 November 2011
Srinagar: Launching a broadside against the army, Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Monday accused it of plotting his liquidation during his Friday rally at Sopore’s Iqbal Market which the people had promptly foiled. He warned of a revolution which would be beyond anybody to contain. Addressing a press conference at his Hyderpora residence here, Geelani said he was addressing a peaceful public rally at Iqbal Market in the apple town on Friday when there was some commotion within the gathering. “Soon, it transpired that an army man (identified as Naik Kamlesh Kumar of Military Intelligence) in civvies carrying a weapon had been placed in the rally,” Geelani said, adding that his presence there could have had two objectives, either to eliminate Geelani through “target fire” or to fire some rounds to disrupt the rally and to stage a mayhem reminiscent of January 6, 1993 incident at Sopore when around 40 innocent civilians were burnt alive and more than 200 shops and residential houses razed to ground. “What is more astonishing is that when, on my advice, the army man was handed over police, the latter took no action against the soldier. Instead, an FIR was registered against those who had pounced on him and foiled the sinister plot,” Geelani said, adding it was like the proverbial “pot calling the kettle black.” Although the army had claimed the “covert team” had been deployed after due consultation with the police, Geelani said the police had denied the claim saying they had not been consulted about the placement of MI men in the rally. Asserting that it was not for the first time that bids had been made on his life, Geelani said 18 attempts had been made during the on-going struggle. “In 1996, a rocket was lobbed towards my residence after which, according to one of my neighbors, an army officer had telephoned him to ask, ‘has the dog’s shop been destroyed?’ meaning that whether I had been killed,” he said, adding that another attack had followed in just 36 hours. Enumerating the attacks on him, Geelani said that six attacks were made on him in 1995, seven in 1996, three murderous attacks were carried out in 1999 while another attempt was made on his life during a public rally at Magam (Handwara) in 2000. “No cognizance has been taken nor any action taken in respect of all these attacks,” he said, adding that Friday incident pointed to yet another plot to repeat the 1993 carnage in the town. Hurriyat chairman said police should have taken cognizance of the incident as to why an army man had infiltrated into a peaceful public rally. “Although the Indian intelligence agencies have been recording the proceedings of all our rallies to which we have no objection, but the presence of the Military Intelligence man in our rally pointed to some sinister plot,” he said. Reiterating his stand, Geelani said it had remained the same for the past 50 years, that Kashmir was a dispute, the region should demilitarized early and the people should given the opportunity to exercise their right of self-determination. Expressing his firm commitment to it, he said, “Our stand is not hidden but fully public (published).” “The army is here to perpetuate Indian rule over Kashmir through the barrel of gun for which it has been adopting shameful and inhuman methods,” Geelani said, alleging the army had developed a vested interest because they had been given a free hand not only to kill innocent people but also occupy vacant lands and engage in a virtual loot of the state’s rich forest wealth. Accusing the army of turning the state into a killing field, Geelani said, it had been given vast powers with legal immunity for whatever they indulged in because of which its dreadful face was getting exposed now. “The army has developed an addiction to rule as it was virtually calling the shots with the so-called state government playing second fiddle to it,” he added. Warning of “revolutionary times” ahead, Geelani said people would rise against atrocities. However, he said there would be no end to the excesses unless people raised their voice against these. Describing the mainstream politicians and panches and sarpanches as “power brokers,” Geelani said police arrested the youth after which these brokers secured their release against hefty considerations. He expressed concerned over a police officer of Sopore harassing and abusing Hurriyat leaders after calling them to his office. Advising Pakistan to adopt what he termed as a “realistic” approach, Geelani asked her leadership not to ignore the sacrifices offered by Kashmiri people nor bring any flexibility in their stand on Kashmir. Geelani said the army was trying to make inroads into educational institutions which the “courageous students” should resist. “I appeal the students to be courageous and tell these army officers and generals on their face that they have no right to deliver sermons in our schools and colleges after killing and subjecting to enforced disappearance thousands of Kashmiris, burning their houses and unleashing worst human rights abuses on them,” he said. Describing Arundhati Roy, Advocate Shanti Bhushan and Gautam Naulakha as an asset of mankind, Geelani said they called a spade a spade and emulating them would pave the way for global peace.