Geelani Defies House Arrest, Leads Sit-in

11 June 2014
Greater Kashmir
Arif Shafi Wani

Srinagar: Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani Tuesday broke his house-arrest and led a sit-in at the busy Airport Road here after police disallowed the conglomerate's seminar to mark the anniversary of 2010 killings. The Hurriyat (G) had announced the seminar '2010 Kay AadKhilayPhool.. Jo MasalDiyah Gaye (half blossomed flowers of 2010 crushed prematurely)' this morning at its Hyderpora headquarters. However, police blocked all the routes to the venue and disallowing entry of the people. Irked by the police action, Geelani who is under continuous house-arrest broke the security cordon and marched towards the Airport Road. Geelani was joined by senior separatist leaders, Nayeem Ahmad Khan and Shabir Ahmad Shah. As soon Geelani and other separatists came out on the Airport Road, hundreds of people shouting pro-freedom slogans joined the procession. Traffic along the vital road link came to a grinding halt for nearly an hour as Geelani staged a sit-in near Jamia Masjid Hyderpora. In his address, Geelani castigated the state government and police for disallowing the seminar. 'We are not even allowed to remember our beloved 128 teenagers and youth who were brutally killed by armed forces and police in 2010,' Geelani said. 'The families of these martyrs are still awaiting justice. We demand registering of FIRs against the accused CRPF and police personnel,' he said. Hitting out at the mainstream political parties, Geelani accused them of being instrumental in imposing miseries on Kashmiris. 'After facing defeat in recent elections, leaders of mainstream parties are trying to appease people by announcing bounties. I want to tell these leaders that they cannot wash blood of innocent Kashmiris off their sleeves by such so-called populist measures,' he said, urging people to expedite boycott campaign for upcoming Assembly elections. Hurriyat (G) chairman accused New Delhi of using 'suppressive tactics to crush the ongoing movement of Kashmiris.' 'Indian Prime Minister NarendraModi takes pride in saying that he is ready to do justice with the people. Let him first do justice with Kashmiris by giving them their inalienable right to self-determination,' he said. Geelani alleged that there were attempts to change the demography of the state. 'We strongly oppose the government plans to settle the Kashmiri Pandits in safe zones and separate colonies. Kashmiri Pandits are important part of our culture. They must be settled in their own houses in Kashmir,' he said. He also opposed the permanent settlement of Pakistani refugees in the state. Senior leader of Hurriyat Conference Jammu and Kashmir, Nayeem Ahmad Khan underscored the need for having a unified voice in the separatist camp. He paid rich tributes to martyrs of 2010. Senior leader of HCJK, Shabir Ahmad Shah, in his address condemned the police action of disallowing the seminar. As more people joined the sit-in, a large contingent of police reached the spot and encircled the protesters to thwart their further movement. Geelani made a passionate appeal to protestors to maintain discipline and disperse peacefully. As Geelani led the procession back to his residence, senior police officers were seen rebuking their subordinate. 'How did Geelani break the house arrest and led the protests?' a senior police officer shouted at his juniors. Later, police lifted the security cordon outside Geelani's residence. The families of those killed in 2010 were presented with a copy of Holy Quran and a book on the tragedy. Emotional scenes were witnessed when some family members of the victims broke down. 'My lone son was brutally killed by forces and am still awaiting justice,' a woman said amid sobs while Geelani consoled her.