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Holding of exams was ‘deceptive attempt’ to reap political gains: Hurriyat Conference

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Holding of Board exams in Kashmir was a “deceptive attempt” by the state government to reap political gains, hardline Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani said on Monday, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised high attendance in the annual tests. “Conducting examinations was purely a mean and deceptive attempt (by the state government) to achieve political gains and get the applause from the masters in Delhi..,” Hurriyat spokesman said in a statement.In his monthly radio address ‘Mann ki Baat’, Modi had said on Sunday high participation of students in the recent Board exams in Kashmir reflected their resolve to strive for a better future through studies. Over 95% of students appeared in the Board exams which marked the resumption of educational activity in Kashmir Valley after schools remained shut for over four months due to the unrest and separatists-sponsored strike.Nearly 40 schools were also burnt down during the unrest which began following the killing of militant leader Burhan Wani in early July. The spokesman of Hurriyat, which has been spearhearding five-month shutdown in the valley that has also crippled studies, said education has been the prime concern of the society and every parent wants to give his wards the best possible education even at the cost of their own comfort. “No one can afford to keep his children away from the glory of education, which not only should help them to earn their livelihood but enlighten their mind and soul,” he said.The spokesman said there is a vast network of educational institutions in Kashmir, testifying that the local youth are hardworking, passionate and focused to get to the top on their own without the crutches. “They have touched new heights in every field and are determined to keep the pace in latest advancements but that does not mean that they have lost or fogged their vision of basic rights,” the Hurriyat said.

Kashmir: Curfew imposed in parts of Srinagar ahead of separatists’ protest march

Kashmir: Curfew imposed in parts of Srinagar ahead of separatists’ protest march

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Srinagar: Authorities on Friday imposed curfew in parts of Srinagar to prevent a protest march called by the separatists, officials said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“Curfew has been imposed in seven areas to maintain law and order,” the police said.

Separatists have called for the march to the Jamia Mosque in the city’s Nowhatta area.

Congregational Friday prayers have not been allowed inside the mosque.

Separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umer Farooq has been kept under house arrest while Muhammad Yasin Malik was arrested and shifted to the Srinagar central jail on Thursday.

Syed Ali Geelani continues to remain under house arrest.

Meanwhile, the ongoing unrest has entered the fifth month after it started in Srinagar on 9 July.

Ninety-five people have been killed and over 12,000 injured during the ongoing violence in the valley.

Who is destroying schools in Kashmir?

Gowhar Geelani reports on schools in Indian-administered Kashmir that have been set on fire.

Schools go up in flames in a tug of war between govt, separatists

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two schools, including a Jawahar Navodya Vidyalaya (JNV), were damaged since Saturday in mysterious fire incidents in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, police said on Sunday.More than 26 schools have been set ablaze by unknown people in Kashmir since the unrest began after the killing of Hizbul Mujahedeen poster boy Burhan Wani in an encounter at Bambdoora village on July 8.Latest being the Central Government-run Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Aishmuqam and Government Higher Secondary School in Kabamarg. More than 12 lakh students are sitting home since schools and educational institutions are shut across the Kashmir Valley following the unrest.The frequency in torching the schools has increased after the Mehboba Mufti government decided to conduct the class X and class X11 board exams in November.Separatists have accused the government of trying to portray normalcy by conducting the exams at a time when hundreds of students have been blinded and thousands of students have been arrested.Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti however hit back, accusing some people of using school-going children for their vested interests by keeping them away from schools in order to raise the arm”Since common people have realised the futility of the gun, forces averse to peace are now instigating youngsters to violence with stones… Certain people have utilised school-going children for their vested interests by keeping them away from schools,” said Mehbooba while addressing the cadets at the attestation-cum passing out parade at the Sher-e-Kashmir Police Academy.Mehbooba noted that some people are instigating poor children and misguiding them to violence. “Their only aim is that any reaction, if, leading to injuries or fatalities would become a fodder to prolong the turmoil, which has over a period of time only brought miseries to the people,” she said.Hurriyat Hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who is one of the three leaders of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) leading the current unrest, has set five conditions for restoring education in the Valley. Those include releasing all people including students, withdrawing the cases against them, stopping police vigil, putting an end to the barbarism, night raids and allowing peaceful demonstrations.”It will help in creating a conducive and peaceful atmosphere”, Geelani said.Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chairman Mohommad Yasin Malik, an important member of JRL who was released on Friday evening, however blamed Mehbooba and her education minister Naeem Akhtar for torching the schools,”For their politics of normalcy these people have waged a war against students and have irked them severely. Mehbooba and Nayeem Akhtar are hell bent upon taking revenge from these innocent students and are pushing them to the wall. People who burned down temples in 1986 for removing Ghulam Muhammad Shah from chief minister-ship can do same to school buildings for their dirty politics,” he saidExpressing disappointment and grief over incidents of schools being burnt in various parts of the valley, National Conference working president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah on said this was an abhorrent ploy to destroy the future of children.In “Our schools hold the key to the self-reliance, dignity and empowerment of our future generation. These are clear, unambiguous attempts to rob our children of education and intellectual growth and there can be no doubt that these elements who attack our schools are the enemies of our children and the enemies of enlightenment. Hurriyat leadership should realize the costs of its reluctance and delay to condemn such behavior unequivocally,” said Omar

Kashmir: Separatist Mirwaiz Farooq taken into custody for taking out protest march

Kashmir: Separatist Mirwaiz Farooq taken into custody for taking out protest march

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Srinagar: Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was on Friday taken into custody after he defied the curfew order and tried to take out a march from his residence to offer Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. AFP

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. AFP

Mirwaiz, who was shifted from sub-jail Chashma Shahi after two-months detention on 24 October and placed under house arrest, defied the curfew on Friday afternoon.

He tried to take out the march towards the historic Jamia Masjid, where no Friday prayers could be offered during the past 15 weeks due to the restriction.

Soon after the separatist leader came out from his Nigeen residence, police took him into custody and lodged him at Nigeen police station, officials said.

The separatist camp, comprising of Mirwaiz, hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and JKLF chairman Mohammad Yaseen Malik, had called for the march to Jamia Masjid to end the “seige” of the grand old mosque.

However, authorities imposed curfew in six police station areas of the city to scuttle the proposed march.

J&K deadlock: BJP leader Yashwant Sinha led delegation meets separatist Geelani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A five-member civil society delegation led by senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Tuesday met hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani here in an attempt to break the three month impasse in Kashmir triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in July.The delegation led by Sinha called on Geelani at his residence in Hyderpora area of the summer capital here.Before meeting Geelani, Sinha told reporters that they had not come as a delegation.”We are few people of goodwill who have come here on the basis of humanity. The aim is to share the pain and sufferings of the people. If we can do that, we will consider ourselves as fortunate,” he said.Asked if the team will be meeting other separatist leaders like Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, Sinha said they are trying to meet everyone.In response to a question about timing of the visit, the former Finance Minister said, “That is an eternal question why did you not do it before. We are doing it at a time which is quite appropriate.”Asked if they had been invited by the separatists, Sinha said, “We do not have an invitation (from Geelani). We had requested (for a meeting) and we are going to see him.” The other members of the delegation are Wajahat Habibullah, the former chairman of National Commission for Minorities, Kapil Kak, former Air Vice-Marshal, journalist Bharat Bhushan and Sushoba Barve of Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation.The delegation is also scheduled to call upon moderate Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq.Mirwaiz was released from Chesma-Shahi sub-jail late last night where he was lodged on August 27.Geelani, Mirwaiz and JKLF chief Yasin Malik have been jointly issuing weekly protest programmes ever since the unrest started in the Valley.

Kashmir logjam: Yashwant Singh, 5 others in Srinagar to meet separatist leaders Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

New Delhi/Srinagar: Senior BJP leader and former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha is leading a five-member team to Srinagar for talks with separatist leaders in a fresh bid to break a logjam after more than three months of deadly unrest in the Kashmir Valley.

The team includes former bureaucrat Wajahat Habibullah, who has served in Jammu and Kashmir, ex-Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak, journalist Bharat Bhushan and activist Sushobha Barve. Reports said it is an independent outreach programme and that the team is expected to meet separatists.

Sinha confirmed to IANS that he and other “people of goodwill” will try to “meet all” during their visit to the Valley that began on Tuesday. “We came here for humanity. Our motto is to share the grievances and pain (of Kashmiri people),” Sinha said.

He said they have requested many people for a meeting but didn’t divulge more details.

However, informed sources told IANS that the delegation during their three-day stay in Srinagar would meet representatives of the two factions of the separatist Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

Former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha. PTI

Former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha. PTI

Before meeting Geelani, Sinha told PTI that they had not come as a delegation. “We are few people of goodwill who have come here on the basis of humanity. The aim is to share the pain and sufferings of the people. If we can do that, we will consider ourselves as fortunate,” he said.

Asked if the team will be meeting other separatist leaders like Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, Sinha said they are trying to meet everyone.

In response to a question about timing of the visit, the former Finance Minister said, “That is an eternal question why did you not do it before. We are doing it at a time which is quite appropriate.”

Asked if they had been invited by the separatists, Sinha said, “We do not have an invitation (from Geelani). We had requested (for a meeting) and we are going to see him.”

The delegation is also scheduled to call upon moderate Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq.

Mirwaiz was released from Chesma-Shahi sub-jail late last night where he was lodged on 27 August. Geelani, Mirwaiz and JKLF chief Yasin Malik have been jointly issuing weekly protest programmes ever since the unrest started in the Valley. According to ANI

They are also expected to meet Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Yaseen Malik, who has been moved from jail to a Srinagar hospital after his health deteriorated. And after two months of detention at a guest-house-turned-jail in Srinagar, the Mirwaiz is now under house arrest at his upscale Nigeen residence.

The fresh bid to break ice between separatist groups and the government comes after 108 days of unrest and shutdown that have disrupted normal life in the Kashmir Valley since the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

At least 92 persons were killed and over 12,000 injured in clashes between protesters and security forces. Police have arrested over 7,000 suspected ring leaders of stone throwers. Some have been let off. The Sinha-led delegation is also expected to meet civil society and trade groups including the Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) and the Kashmir Centre for Social and Developmental Studies (KCSDS).

They will call on Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Governor NN Vohra.

As Kashmir unrest enters 100th day, separatists mull over alternatives to strikes

The churning in Kashmir completed 100 days on Saturday with no end in sight to the spate of protests, curfews and shutdowns that have kept the Valley on the boil since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani on 8 July.

However, a new debate has been recently resonating among the masses over whether the separatist leadership should revisit their strike strategy.

A united Hurriyat Conference and the man spearheading the current agitation – Syed Ali Shah Geelani – is already under pressure from different sections of the society over the continuation of the ongoing protests. The Hurriyat is also struggling with the ideas on how to proceed and there is a strain within pro-freedom camps on how to keep the current momentum intact.

People waiting in Lal Chowk for the shops to open as per Hurriyat relaxation on Saturday. (Photo: Sameer Yasir)

People waiting in Lal Chowk for the shops to open as per Hurriyat relaxation on Saturday. (Photo: Sameer Yasir)

The Rising Kashmir reported on Saturday that Geelani has written a letter to different separatist political outfits seeking their suggestions on how to proceed. But the newspaper said, “most of the groups and stakeholders are yet to respond to the letter shot to them by Hurriyat Conference”.

The ongoing unrest that erupted after the death of Wani left 91 people dead and injured over 12,000 civilians in the forces firing in the last three months, two security personnel have also been killed while hundreds are injured.

The state government has launched a massive crackdown against agitating leaders and stone pelters. A statement by the Kashmir police on Friday evening said that “in its continuous drive to curb the activities of the trouble-mongers, police arrested 63 such individuals in the last 24 hours involved in disrupting the public order in different parts of the Valley.”

Kashmir police have arrested over 7,000 people in the Valley while more than 450 people have been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA).

The separatist groups have extended the strike up to 20 October but announced daily relaxation from 5pm to 7am barring Fridays. After which the traffic was seen playing on the roads at a snarling pace since the last few days in the capital city of Srinagar and other districts of Kashmir barring four districts in south Kashmir.

A market place in Baramulla town after 5 pm on Saturday. (Photo: Sameer Yasir)

A marketplace in Baramulla town after 5 pm on Saturday. (Photo: Sameer Yasir)

However, after 100 days of strikes, the masses are thinking about an alternate strategy of the pro-freedom camp in the wake of the waning effectiveness of the protest calendars.

Asem Mohiuddin, a journalist based in Srinagar, wrote on his Facebook page that “70- years back the longest shutdown in the history of Palestine achieved nothing for them and it amply clears Hartal is the failed model of resistance politics and still we follow it with no roadmap ahead.”

But Geelani, the Hurriyat leader, said in a statement recently, that calling or observing shutdown after each innocent killing although does not meet the demands “but there is no other option left by the government”.

“Many voices were heard about finding alternatives to strike calls but so far no concrete or practical idea has come to fore from any quarter,” Geelani said in a statement.

Mir Zeeshan, a resident of Srinagar, wrote on his Facebook page that the ongoing “struggle” from last three months is going on similar lines as the previous two uprising of 2008 and 2010.

“Kashmiri people have always been forgetting all the sacrifices since 1947. I must say leadership also failed to take Kashmir issue forward they too are in dilemma what should be next? They had a chance to sit on a table but repeatedly they refused. But talks are the only way by which indifferences are being solved. If India asked them talks under India constitution Hurriyat should have replied they will talk but unconditional. It was Peoples movement but now same people are giving up their movement. At last Kashmir gonna sleep again and will rise again when something untoward happens. (sic),” Zeeshan wrote.

The state government of Jammu and Kashmir is also sniffing some exhaustion among its people after three months of continuous strikes. The government on Saturday morning allowed the mobile operators to resume their pre-paid services after 98 days, which have remained blocked since the beginning of the unrest. However, mobile internet services continued to remain suspended.

“In Kashmir, a shutdown is the only predominant form of political protest they should come up with alternative modes of protests which are effective, prolonged strikes set in fatigue among the people,” Nissar Ahmad, a resident of Raj Bagh area of Srinagar said.

“There is no doubt that these prolonged strikes are the most viable option to mobilise public opinion but they are also detrimental to the public that causes self-inflicting loss,” Altaf Ahmad, a shopkeeper in Indra Nagar locality of the Srinagar told Firstpost.

“Strikes are an effective tool to send a strong political message but its arbitrary use is fatiguing,” Shafiq Mushtaq, another resident of Srinagar city, said.

Residents say prolonged shutdown ensure into a fatigue among people, which is ultimately harmful to the very idea for which people have been struggling for the last three months.

Defying Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s call, J-K youth line up for police jobs in Pulwama

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defying separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s call for Kashmiri youth not to join the police force in the state, hundreds of youth lined up for SPO (Special Police Officer) posts during the recruitment rally organized by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in violence-torn Pulwama district.Notably, Geelani has asked the youth not to opt for a job in Jammu and Kashmir Police after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s announcement of an employment package for 10,000 youth.The youth belonging to various areas of Pulwama district like Tral, Pulwama , Awantipora and Lethpora etc, participated in a physical test.”SPO’s recruitment is going on here. Unemployed youth keep coming here for some source of income. They come here so that they get unemployment and their future is secured,” said Javed Ahmed, a local resident of Tral.”I have come here for employment. We are four brothers and we are very poor .we do not have any support,” said another local.The SPOs are engaged on a monthly salary of Rs. 6,000 -raised from Rs. 3,000 a month since January this year. “We have started the recruitment process since morning. We got a very good response. Many youth from Tral, Awantipora, Lethipora areas have appeared for fitness tests for SPOs post. Many have qualified as well,” said Iftikhar Chaudhary, DSP DR, Member Recruitment Board.The SPOs after training, work with the Kashmir Police in maintaining law and order situation. It is here to mention that the Kashmir Valley is under disturbance for the last 75 days due to separatist’s shutdowns and restrictions following the killing of Hijbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani on July 8.

Solution to Kashmir lies in India adhering to UN resolution: Hurriyat chief Geelani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> As Prime Minister Narendra Modi pressed for a lasting solution to Kashmir problem, hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Monday said it lies in India adhering to the United Nations resolution.”…Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Geelani said for the lasting solution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute, the Indian state must shun state violence and uphold international law, respect and adhere UN charter and especially the UN resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir,” a spokesman of the Hurriyat said. “By fulfilling its promises and obligations towards the people of Jammu and Kashmir, we understand the universal principle of ‘right to self-determination’ is the only road through which peace can be achieved in Jammu and Kashmir,” the spokesman added.Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief Aasiya Andrabi said people must not pay heed to the “useless activities” of mainstream politicians of Kashmir. “All they want is power and nothing else,” she said.Andrabi said Modi’s response to these pro-India politicians explains their “uselessness” with regard to resolution of Kashmir issue.

Curfew in force in Srinagar, normal life disrupted in Valley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Srinagar remained under curfew on Monday after a teenager was killed by a teargas shell here yesterday, even as normal life in the Valley was paralysed for the 45th day due to restrictions and strike in the wake of violence following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. Curfew continues to be in force in entire Srinagar district as well as in Anantnag town.Curfew has also been clamped in Khansahib town of Budgam district of central Kashmir as a precautionary measure, a police official said. He said curfew was lifted from Pampore town today in view of the improving situation.However, the official said, restrictions on the assembly of four or more people under Section 144 Crpc have been imposed in the town and elsewhere in the Valley where there is no curfew. This is to maintain law and order, he said.A youth, Irfan Wani, was killed in downtown area of the city yesterday after he was hit by a tear gar shell. The official said restrictions around Lal Chowk city centre in the summer capital here, which were imposed on August 14, were also eased out today. People with curfew passes are being allowed to move around Lal Chowk, he said.The separatist camp, which is spearheading the agitation in the Valley over the civilian killings during the protests against Wani’s killing, has asked people to march towards Tehsil headquarters today. As many as 65 persons, including two cops, have been killed and several thousand others injured in the clashes that began on July 9.Meanwhile, normal life remained paralysed for the 45th consecutive day due to curfew, restrictions and separatist sponsored strike following Wani’s killing in an encounter with security forces.Shops, private offices, educational institutions and petrol pumps remained closed while public transport continued to be off roads.The attendance in government offices and banks was also affected.Mobile Internet also continued to remain suspended in the entire Valley, where the outgoing facility on prepaid mobiles remained barred.The separatist camp, headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, has extended the agitation till August 25.

Jammu and Kashmir: DPS, Srinagar bans abaya; state govt says, ‘we are not France’

Delhi Public School (DPS), Srinagar faced a lot of criticism after it reportedly barred a Muslim teacher from wearing ‘Abaya’, a loose over-garment in school. The Jammu and Kashmir government reacted sharply to this ban and termed it a “serious issue”. “We are not France,” said Education Minister Naeem Akhtar referring to the ban.

Delhi public School, Srinagar. Picture courtesy: dpssrinagar.com

Delhi public School, Srinagar. Picture courtesy: dpssrinagar.com

Soon after the incident, the teacher resigned while students boycotted classes and sought an apology from the school management. They also demanded that the teacher, who taught biology, be recalled, reported The Indian Express.

“I was not given any contract or explained any conditions when I joined. The principal was absent for two months. After she returned, she sent a message that I should not wear abaya. She categorically told me that Islamic dress is not allowed on the school premises,” the report quoted the teacher as saying.

DPS Principal Kusum Warikoo allegedly asked the teacher to choose between her job and the dress code. She further responded to the students’ protest by saying that the school was merely “following rules” and the school law says “no female teacher can wear abaya inside the campus during working hours”.

This issue was raised in the state assembly by MLA Engineer Abdul Rashid who called such a ban “in a Muslim state” condemnable, according to Hindustan Times.

Akhtar, who is also the spokesperson of the Jammu and Kashmir government, replied that the concern will be raised with the school authorities.

“It is a private school and we will get into the truth of the issue. We live in a country with multi-cultural and multi-religious setup. We have a secular fabric. No force on any such issue will be accepted; we are not France where the government or some institute decides what dress people should wear,” Hindustan Times quoted him as saying.

Separatist Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani demanded an unconditional apology from the school. “Jammu and Kashmir is a Muslim- majority State and objecting to the Islamic dress code could have very serious consequences,” said Geelani. He also said that the school should not do the mistake of ignoring the sensitivity of the issue.

Mutahida Majlis Ulema (MMU) said that “un-Islamic and anti-Muslim measures would not be tolerated.”

Akhtar was referring to the law in France banning school staff from wearing garments displaying a religious allegiance. The country also has a national ban on wearing veils that cover your face in public.

Yasin Malik detained ahead of seminar by separatists

JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was detained hours after his release on court orders even as Jammu and Kashmir government allowed the separatist Hurriyat Conference to hold a seminar for opposing construction of Sainik colony for Kashmiri Pandits and soldiers in the Valley.Malik, who was released on bail on Saturday after a week-long detention in a case related to 1987 elections, was picked up by police late on Saturday night from his Maisuma residence and lodged at Kothibagh police station, police said on Sunday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The detention of Malik, who has been at the forefront of fresh efforts at unity among separatists, came hours ahead of a joint seminar by separatist outfits at the residence of hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani.The separatist groups had last week decided to launch an awareness campaign against the setting up of separate townships for Kashmiri Pandits and constructing Sainik colonies in the valley. The seminar at Geelani’s residence is part of the joint strategy adopted by the separatist groups. They are planning to hold a silent sit-in on June 15 against any government move to set up the township for Kashmiri Pandits or retired military personnel of the state.The separatist groups have alleged that these townships and colonies are being constructed to settle people from other parts of India in Kashmir to change the demography of the Valley.The PDP-BJP government in the state has made it clear that there would be no separate townships for Kashmiri Pandits but transit accommodation will be provided to them till the security situation improves allowing them to return to their native places. It has also ruled out setting up any Sainik colony in Kashmir in view of “scarcity of land”.

Sainik colony row: Separatists leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq briefly detained ahead of meet

Separatists leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq were briefly put under house arrest on Sunday ahead of their meeting on the Sainik colony issue. They were later released. Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik is still detained, ANI reported.According to reports, both factions of the Hurriyat Conference and the JKLF are launching a joint effort against the state government’s decision to set up separate colonies for Sainiks and Kashmiri Pandits in the valley.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Post the 2008 Amarnath land row, this is reportedly the first time in eight years the separatists are assembling at one platform. Though the Jammu and Kashmir Government has reiterated that it has no plans to set-up a Sainik colony in the Valley, the controversy was raked up after reports that the government is planning to set up shelters for “floating population” and implement a new industrial policy that allows a non-state subject to get land on lease anywhere in Kashmir for 90 years.

J&K govt cracks down on ‘united’ Kashmiri separatists over Sainik and KP colonies

Srinagar: Unnerved by a joint strategy formulated by “united” separatist camp against the government’s plans to construct Sainik Colonies for retired army officials and ghetto-type housing complexes for displaced Kashmiri migrants, the Jammu and Kashmir government has come down heavily on separatist leaders by putting them either behind bars or under constant house detention.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chairman, Yasin Malik, was put in city’s Central Jail for a week. He was briefly released on Friday evening but was rearrested on Saturday soon after he addressed a press conference in Srinagar. JKLF, in a statement, said that Malik has been arrested in a case dating back to 1987 elections which were largely seen as rigged and are believed to be responsible for fanning large-scale militancy in Kashmir.

“If so-called rulers and their authorities have any shame left, they should instead of caging resistance leaders and activists, find some courage and compete with them on political fronts,” the statement read.

Malik is the main driving force for “uniting” the already divided separatist camp against the government plans of building colonies for ex-army men and Kashmiri pandits. Since the government’s plans of constructing colonies were “exposed” by a local newspaper, Kashmir Reader, the separatists issued joint statements to oppose any such plans. The separatists say the move was aimed at deeply polarising Kashmir.

Moderate Hurriyat (M) leader, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is also under house detention, lashed out at J&K government for “worst-ever” crackdown on separatist leaders. “The way this government is behaving with us is worst-ever dictatorial approach. This government is pushing people to wall and is creating a vacuum on the ground. This shows the frustration of government and police over united approach of pro-freedom leaders of Kashmir,” he told local media.

Accusing the government of committing blunders, senior Hurriyat leader, Nayeem Khan, said that the choking of the movement of separatist leaders would further trigger public anger on ground.

“This time the approach by the government is more harsh and rigid. The fact is that the public is against the plans of establishing separate colonies for retired army men and clusters for migrant Kashmiri Pandits,” Khan said. Lashing out at the government for its policies, Hurriyat (G) Chairman, Syed Ali Geelani, who is under house arrest, said the separatists would continue to protest until government revokes its decisions.

“We will resist all such attempts aimed at turning the Muslim majority Kashmir into minority. We will register our protest till government revokes its decisions to set up separate colonies for Pandits and ex-army men,” Geelani said.

Representational image. APRepresentational image. AP

Representational image. AP

The Hurriyat Conference and JKLF have termed the government plans of building separate colonies as “nefarious designs to change the demography of the state.” They have also warned government of “serious consequences” if their leaders aren’t released before the holy month of Ramadan. Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir Police have justified the crackdown on the Hurriyat leadership for maintaining “peace” in the Valley.

“The separatists have been taken into preventive custody to ensure that the peace is not disturbed in the Valley. Nobody will be allowed to disturb the peace,” Syed Javaid Mujtaba Geelani, the Inspector General of Police, said.

Separatists from across the different faction of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF including Shabir Shah, Ashraf Sehrai, Ghulam Nabi Shumji, Altaf Shah, Ayaz Akbar, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, Advocate Shahid-ul-Islam, Hilal War and Showkat Bakshi have been lodged in various police stations or kept under house detention by the police.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, cautioned the government of any decision on Pandit and Sainik Colonies.

“All the political parties and stakeholders should be taken into confidence and no unilateral decision should be taken on this sensitive issue,” Azad said.

While the Jammu and Kashmir government is in continuous denial over the allotment of the land for Sainik Colonies, the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies (JKCSS) Saturday made some startled revelations about the construction of apartments in Old Air Field on the outskirts of Srinagar. JKCSS asked government to come clean on the purpose of 47 apartments blocks being constructed inside Old Air Field base.

“If it is not part of the proposed Sainik Colony, the government and the army should clarify the status of this upcoming colony inside the Old Air Field,” the JKCSS said in a statement. But CM Mehbooba has denied any settlement of non-state subjects in the Sainik Colonies by the government. “I want to make it clear that the Sainik Colonies are meant for ex-army men who are State Subjects,” she said in the Assembly last week.

On separate Pandit colonies, she said the government would set up transit accommodation to facilitate the return of migrant Pandits to the valley. Former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, shared government documents about the allotment of land in the Old Airfield area for proposed Sainik Colony triggering war of words between the government and opposition.

Public anger in Kashmir is visible against the government’s move. A statewide shutdown called by separatists against the Sainik and KP Colonies on 26 May evoked strong response from the general public. Emboldened separatists are mulling to launch large-scale protests if government doesn’t revoke its orders on separate colonies.

Violence returns to south Kashmir days ahead of bypolls

Two consecutive deadly strikes by militants in south Kashmir’s Anantnag marked the return of pre-poll violence in this restive district. The lethal attacks attempted just weeks ahead of the by-elections in this militant hotbed has left at least five security personnel dead and at least eight others with serious injuries.

Two cops of Jammu and Kashmir Police were killed in the militant attack on late Saturday morning. Reports said the incident happened in the main town of Anantnag district near General Bus Stand located just meters away from the police post. The slain cops were identified as ASI Bashir Ahmad and Constable Reyaz Ahmad.

A photo taken by a bystander shows two young militants with guns and bag near the shootout site walking on the road after the attack.

Representational image. APRepresentational image. AP

Representational image. AP

The Anantnag assembly seat left vacant after the death of former Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on 7 January, is going for polls on 22 June. Muftis daughter, Mehbooba Mufti, the current Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, has filed nomination papers from his late father’s constituency. The election has been already deferred twice.

A day earlier on Friday, three Border Security Forces (BSF) personnel were killed and seven other were wounded when militants attacked an army convoy on Srinagar-Jammu Highway in Bijbehara town of Anantnag district. Hizbul Mujahideen claimed the responsibility of the attack. The same outfit has carried several other attacks in Bijbehara town.

Militants often resort to pre-poll violence to show their disapproval of the electoral process in Jammu and Kashmir. In run up to the 2014 Assembly polls, at least 10 Sarpanchs (village heads) were killed and three injured by militants. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) won majority of the seats in 2014 Assembly elections and formed a coalition government in the state. Dozens of village heads were forced to resign from their posts on facing life threats from various militant outfits.

Often such attacks are carried to cause fear psychosis among voters and they result in the low voter turnout during high-pressure elections with a poll-boycott calls already issued by the separatists.

Hardline separatist leader, Syed Ali Geelani, Friday appealed people of Anantnag to boycott the polls. Geelani on challenged CM Mehbooba to set him free for anti-election campaign in the district.

“To prove my point, I ask Mehbooba Mufti to release me from house detention and allow me to visit Anantnag constituency just for five days and let me freely meet the people of the area, then everybody will come to know the actual percentage of people’s participation in the military exercise,” Geelani said, in challenge to Mehbooba.

A couple of local residents who spoke to Firstpost expressed concerns about the safety of voters on the election day.

“These attacks will have a bearing on the election process. People fear for their lives after such attacks and are unwilling to come out of their homes on the election day,” Jabbar Malik, a local resident, told Firstpost.

“I will sit at home on the election day. Why put my life in danger for a single vote?” Ali Kamil, another resident of Anantnag, said.

A total number of nine nominations have been received for the Anantnag constituency by-elections. Firebrand legislator of Awami Itehad Party, Engineer Rasheed, who is currently MLA from north Kashmir’s Langate constituency, has also filed nomination papers from the Anantnag constituency against Mehbooba. Besides, opposition National Conference fielded Iftikhar Hussain Misgar while Hilal Ahmad Shah will contest on Congress ticket.

The twin attacks days ahead of the election has left the law and order machinery of the district in tizzy. A police official posted in the district told Firstpost that the security grid is worried but capable to prevent such attacks for a secure and fair election.

“Such attacks are a cause of worry but we have enough man power to assist Election Commission in conducting secure elections,” he said.

The coming days in run up to the election in this district, in which many areas are considered to be the bastions of militants, are crucial as far as the security on the election day is concerned.

JKLF chief Yasin Malik arrested in Srinagar on eve of protest over sainik colony

Srinagar: Pro-Azadi Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Muhammad Yasin Malik was arrested in Srinagar on Wednesday on the eve of a protest shutdown called by the separatists against a proposed colony to house ex-servicemen in the Valley.

Yasin Malik. News 18

File image of JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik. News 18

The JKLF chief was arrested from his party’s Abi Guzar area office adjacent to the city centre Lal Chowk.

“He has been taken into preventive custody and lodged in Kothibagh police station to maintain law and order in the city,” a senior police officer told IANS in Srinagar.

Earlier in the day, police placed Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, under house arrest in his uptown Nigeen residence in Srinagar city.

Mirwaiz Umer, Malik and senior separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani have called for a protest shutdown on Thursday against the alleged setting up of a Sainik (ex-servicemen) colony by the central and state governments in the Valley.

The separatists have also called for post Friday prayer protests in the Valley the day after.

State government spokesman and Education Minister Naeem Akhtar had last week denied that a Sainik colony was being set up anywhere in the Valley.

The state government has been maintaining that the request for allotment of land for setting up an ex-servicemen colony by permanent residents of J&K had been received and as yet no land has been allotted anywhere for the proposed colony.

Jammu and Kashmir separatists call for shutdown on Thursday

Even as authorities ruled out exclusive colonies for Kashmiri Pandits or Sainik colonies in the Valley, the issues brought the divided separatist camp together with chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF calling for a shutdown on Thursday to counter “plans to change the demography” of Jammu and Kashmir.Chairman of moderate Hurriyat Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF Chief Mohammad Yasin Malik called on hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani at his Hyderpora residence this evening and held a closed door meeting for about one-and-a- half hours in which they decided to call for the general strike on May 26, a statement issued by hardline Hurriyat said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The leaders held a detailed discussion over the serious situation prevailing in the Jammu and Kashmir and deliberated upon the future course of action in this regard,” the statement said.The leaders also called for a peaceful protest after the Friday prayers against the “proposed plans of creation of the separate clusters for the Pandits, establishment of Sainik colonies, harassment of the Jammu Muslims, new anti-Kashmir industrial policy and the attempts of demographic changes in Jammu and Kashmir,” it said.Appealing for people’s support to make the proposed shutdown call a success, they said, “It is our collective fight for our collective existence and every citizen should play his part in this regard.”

Composite township for Kashmiri Pandits ‘unjustified’: Hurriyat

A day after the Centre asked Jammu and Kashmir government to identify land where displaced Kashmiri Pandits could be suitably rehabilitated, hardline Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Wednesday said “rigidness of the Indian government” was “unjustified”.In a written reply in Lok Sabha yesterday, Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary had said further action would be taken once the land has been identified. “The rigidness of the Indian government over the setting up of the composite township for the migrant Kashmiri Pandits is unjustified.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Hurriyat cautions that the division of Kashmiris on religious lines and isolation of the Pandits from the society will not be allowed and both the communities collectively will not let this to happen,” a Hurriyat spokesman said here. There are about 62,000 registered Kashmiri migrant families in the country, who left the Valley after the onset of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir in the early 1990s.About 40,000 registered Kashmiri migrant families are living in Jammu, about 20,000 in Delhi-NCR and about 2,000 families are settled in other parts of the country. The Hurriyat said the Pandits are a vital part of the Kashmir society and no individual or any group is against their return. “We are in no way against the return and rehabilitation of the Pandit community in the Valley but the Indian government and its policy makers want to play a very dangerous game under its grab and they not only want to divide the Kashmiri society on religious lines but they also want to harm the freedom struggle of the Kashmiris,” he said.The spokesman said Kashmir issue is not about Hindu-Muslim dispute but the “people of this land are demanding their right to self determination for the last seven decades”. The Hurriyat expressed apprehension that the composite townships “will act as safe zones for the communal agents and the Sang Parivar people and there is every possibility of misuse of these safe zones”. Hurriyat also criticized the role of PDP, NC and “all other people of this tribe”, saying these people are “playing a leading role in the implementation of the dangerous policies of India and they have sold their conscience for the chair and power”.

Pakistan snubs Hurriyat, no invite to meet for the first time in 20 years

Shock, disbelief and anger sums-up the mood in the separatist camp after Pakistan openly snubbed their leaders by not inviting them for a meeting with its visiting foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry in New Delhi.”You should ask them (why they have not invited us),” retorted Ayaz Akbar, spokesman of hard-line Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani. “It is probably for the first time in 20 years that there is no invite for the Hurriyat to meet any Pakistani dignitary. Last time, I believe talks were cancelled on this issue only.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ayaz however put up a brave face saying it does not matter whether they are invited for talks or not. “We are in principle not against talks. We never said that there should not be good relations between India and Pakistan. But we have always said Kashmir is the core dispute between the two countries and it should be solved according to the aspirations of its people,” he said.Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq played down the issue saying Pakistan foreign secretary had arrived in Delhi for Heart to Asia Conference and not specifically for bilateral.”This is not a composite dialogue. It is a separate conference. When there was any bilateral Indo-Pak dialogue we were invited. We welcome the foreign secretaries meeting and hope composite dialogue between the two countries will resume. Ultimately they have to involve Kashmiris in the process as well,” Mirwaiz told dna.Last year Pakistan called off the National Security Advisor (NSA) level talks after New Delhi objected to the proposed meeting of Sartaz Aziz with the separatists. Senior separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah and moderate Hurriyat Conference executive council member Bilal Gani Lone were detained and placed under house arrest soon after they landed at the Delhi airport on August 22 2015.”I was detained last time. But this time the situation is different. This time it was not a bilateral meeting between India and Pakistan. We welcome the meeting of two foreign secretaries on the sidelines. We will see when formal talks will be held,” Shah told dna

In a first, anti-IS flags make debut in Kashmir

For a change, the anti-Islamic State (IS) banners have made a debut in the militancy-hit Kashmir valley.Masked youth waved anti-IS banners in Nowhatta area of the sensitive old Srinagar city post Friday prayers before vanishing in the thin air.A banner, showing an IS commander wearing a bushy beard with the outfit’s black flag with Kalima (the first basic fundamental of Islam) in the backdrop, was waved by the small group of youth after they scaled a small wall. It had a banner headline written in Urdu, screaming: “Allah does not permit us to wage jihad against Israel”. And on the bottom it asked: “Does Allah allow you to bomb mosques?”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The banners were put up in the area which is notorious for waving IS, Pakistan and other flags, mostly after the Friday prayers. It is always followed by heavy stone-pelting on the security forces’ deployments.”Obviously, it is a positive trend. For the first time it has happened. Whenever we arrest a stone pelter, we counsel him…make him understand what is right and what is wrong. May be this worked,” Mudasir Shafi, station house officer of Nowhatta police station, told dna.Sajid Khaliq, superintendent of police, North City, told dna, said though it is too premature to say anything, it seems to be a change of heart among the youth.”Our endeavor has always been to get to closer to people. Hopefully, it (putting up anti-IS flag) will help us in our endeavor,” Sajid Khaliq, superintendent of police, North City, told dna.Separatists too have jumped onto the bandwagon to claim credit for the change of heart among some of the youth. “It’s a victory of our stand. From the day one we have been saying they (IS) are not Mujahids but terrorists. Now, people are getting aware which is a great thing. We should be able to differentiate and tell the world that our movement has nothing to do with terrorism,” said Ayaz Akbar, spokesman of hard-line faction of Hurriyat Conference, led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani.Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), the ruling alliance partner of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), went gaga saying this proves that Kashmiris do not support terrorism in any form. “These IS flags were shown by certain anti-Kashmir elements. Displaying the anti-IS flags by some youth is a very good sign. It shows people of Jammu and Kashmir does not support terrorism in any form,” said Khalid Jahangir, BJP spokesman for Kashmir.In the last few years, the Kashmir valley has been witnessing hoisting of IS flags and banners by some masked youth particularly in old city after Friday prayers.Police had picked up several youth since the hoisting of the flags in 2014, but investigation did not reveal any organisational structure for the IS in the valley. Even separatist leaders including pro-Pakistan Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani have openly condemned IS and stated that there are no traces of the dreaded outfit in the valley.Last year director general of police K Rajendra Kumar had ruled out IS presence in the Kashmir valley. “Every case (of raising IS flags) is being investigated. We have not seen such (IS) ideology in Kashmir,” Rajendra told reporters at Kishtwar in Jammu division on November 16.

Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani says ‘Insaniyat’ slogan is ‘lip service’

Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Wednesday termed as “lip service” the slogan of “Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat and Jamhooriat” of Atal Bihari Vajpayee which was invoked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Katra yesterday while talking about development of Jammu and Kashmir.The separatist hawk said the meaning of ‘Insaniyat (humanity), Kashmiriyat and Jamhooriat (democracy)’ change on reaching Kashmir” and that these elements are being “suffocated” in the Valley.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Geelani also termed as “wrong and meaningless” the Prime Minister’s remark that Jammu and Kashmir is ‘Mini-India’, claiming that the state is a “separate entity”. He said though the brotherhood among the people, irrespective of their religious beliefs, is the hallmark of Jammu and Kashmir for centuries, but terming the state as “mini-India” is against the history and ground realities.Modi had made the remarks in Katra in Jammu during his public address after inaugurating 230-bed Shri Vaishno Devi Narayana Superspeciality Hospital.

Hurriyat Conference chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani vouches for safety of NIT Srinagar’s outstation students

Amid the NIT trouble, hardline Hurriyat Conference chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Wednesday vouched for safety and security of outstation students at the institute even as he asked the Centre to ensure protection to Kashmiri students in various institutes outside the state.”Our policy and our religion teaches us that we should not have any grudge or enmity against anybody on the basis of religion, race, caste or linguistics. If outside students are studying here, we should ensure that there is no harm done to them or any obstacle created in their pursuit for education,” Geelani told reporters here. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Geelani, who reached his Hyderpora residence here after undergoing treatment for various ailments in Delhi for the past two months, expressed his displeasure over the happenings in the NIT here. “We will not tolerate such a situation which is against the teachings of our religion and culture,” he said.At the same time, the separatist leader said the engineering college belonged to the state but “unfortunately India extended its occupation” to the institute as well. “It (engineering college) was made an all India college which is the main reason for the prevailing situation,” he said, adding “despite this misadventure, we should ensure that there is no harm is done to the outside students.” He used the issue to accuse BJP, RSS, Shiv Sena and other right wing parties of harassing the students from Kashmir studying in various institutes outside the state.”Our children are facing harassment and torture at the hands of RSS, BJP and Shiv Sena and other right wing groups outside the valley,” Geelani said. “Torture of Kashmiri students outside the state is a blot on the government. Unless they treat it, the blot will not vanish,” he said while terming the frequent attacks on Kashmiri students as the biggest “weakness” of the government.”It is the responsibility of the government of India to tackle attacks on Kashmiri students,” he said. He also appealed outside students not to indulge in any type of highhandedness with their classmates. “They are your classmates and studying with you,” he said calling for peaceful atmosphere in the educational institutions.

Javadekar attends Pakistan Day event where Hurriyat leaders attack Modi govt on Kashmir policy

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday attended the Pakistan Day celebrations in New Delhi where the hardline and moderate Hurriyat factions pitched for adopting a “political approach” to resolve the Kashmir imbroglio and denounced the “brutal attitude” of the Modi dispensation.Javadekar was at the event, where presence of his ministerial colleague V K Singh last year had drawn flak from the media, for around 20 minutes, and extended his “best wishes” to the Pakistani people on the sidelines.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chairman of the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said he had expected the current BJP-led dispensation to follow the “Vajpayee policy” towards Kashmir, but the Modi government “hardened” its position.Farooq said any dialogue bereft of involvement of the three parties–Hurriyat, Kashmiris and Pakistan–would not succeed in resolving the issues faced by the restive border state. “We were expecting that the BJP would go back to the Vajpayee policy. But till now there has been no such indication. On the contrary, it has hardened its position. The Kashmir issue is not any economic or law and order issue, it’s a political issue. Till the time a political approach is taken, there would not be any progress,” he told reporters at the event hosted at the Pakistan High Commission.During his Kashmir visit in 2003, Vajpayee had said his government would hold talks with separatists on Kashmir “within the ambit of Insaniyat”, after the separatists had not agreed to hold talks within the ambit of the Constitution. Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who was also present, said the Modi government was no different from the UPA dispensation which also had a “brutal attitude” towards Kashmir.”India portrays itself as a democratic nation. But its behaviour with the minority communities including Muslims, Sikhs, Dalits paints the opposite picture,” he said.Asked about the delay in government formation in the state owing to differences between PDP and BJP, both Farooq and Geelani described it as a “minor” issue that would not have any effect in resolving the “actual problems”. “It seems government will be formed. But it’s not a big issue as to who forms government in Kashmir. The real question is whether the government that will be formed will be able to do anything concrete. And that anyway will have to be decided by the Centre on whether it will adopt a political or military approach.”Hurriyat believes initiatives are needed where AFSPA goes, human rights violations are ended, bunkers, watch towers are removed. But there is no such initiative towards that end. We are not against any government formation per se,” Umar said. Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said his country has been through “many phases and challenges”, but the enormous “resilience” of the Pakistani people has kept it going towards achieving democracy, stability and prosperity.”Pakistan has made tremendous strides in all spheres. And given our geographical location Pakistan is destined to become a regional economic hub as we straddle west asia, central asia and south asia. And in this aspect, China-Pakistan economic corridor will be hugely important,” he said. The Pakistani Women’s Cricket team, which is currently touring India, also attended the celebrations.

SAR Geelani granted bail by sessions court

A session court here on Saturday granted bail to Delhi University (DU) professor Syed Abdul Rehman Geelani who was arrested on charges of sedition. Special Judge Deepak Garg granted bail on a personal bond of Rs. 50,000 and one surety of the like amount.Geelani’s family who were attending the proceedings were initially jubilant over the news, however the excitement dimmed as the day wore on, jubilation turned into disappointment as the bail formalities could not be completed due and it would be another day before the professor could come home.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Police strongly opposed the bail emphasising on Geelani’s trial court conviction and its reversal in the higher in the 2001 Parliament attack matter. “The antecedent of the offender must be taken into consideration and that he may repeat the offence,” said the public prosecutor. He went on to add other concerns that included the gravity of the offence and the concern that the accused may influence the investigation.Putting their case forward, the police told the court that the First Information Report (FIR) and charge against Geelani was not only on the news coverage of the event in question, but also statements made by individuals present at the event. However, the police could not prove whether Geelani personally incited the sloganeering or if he even took part in it. The police did not even posses any audio or video recording of the event in question.Satish Tamta, defence counsel countered the prosecutor’s points by stating that the trial history of an acquitted person cannot be raked up to make a case. He went on to add that the FIR filed by the Station House Officer (SHO) was based on the biased coverage of various news channels at a time when the JNU controversy was going on.”The event was organised to discuss issues on Kashmir where several intellectuals came to make their point and made it,” Tamta said. Citing judgements like Kedar Nath, S. Rangarajan and Shreya Singhal, the defence argued that the ingredients in Geelani’s case fell short of proving sedition. “If one talks about the spark in the powder keg, where is the explosion?” Tamta said. “The disturbance at the event took place at 5:30 and as per the police statement, the Press Club officials came and broke up the gathering peacefully within half hour,” added Tamta.SAR Geelani was arrested February 16 on charges of sedition in connection with an event held at the Press Club of India on February 10 which marked the hanging of Maqbool Bhatt and Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

The Other sedition case

Wednesday marks the last date of the judicial custody of Syed Abdul Rehman Geelani, the Delhi University professor who was arrested on charges of sedition in connection with an event held at the Press Club of India where anti-national slogans were held.As Geelani’s lawyers work the case trying to prove his innocence, dna caught up with the professor’s family at their home. Amid the din of construction, the Geelanis’ home is undergoing renovation, topics of discussion ranged from a Kashmiri Muslim’s identity, freedom of speech, and the Geelanis’ blind faith in the constitution among others.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the media frenzy surrounding the arrests of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya may have died down three weeks hence, another similar case has barely taken flight. The Delhi Police arrested Syed Abdul Rehman (SAR) Geelani, a Delhi University (DU) professor, on February 16 in connection to an event held at the Press Club of India where allegedly anti-national slogans were raised.”Our identity as a Kashmiri Muslim over powers everything else,” said Bismillah Geelani, the professor’s brother, “It shapes us individually, and as a community. It is all consuming.The arrest of my brother is nothing but a political case,” he added.Bismillah, who has been a vocal proponent for his brother’s cause cannot stress enough that the case against SAR is political. “There is no case against him, no evidence,” he said. Bismillah is also incensed with the double standards of the media. Apart from statements of support from the DU Teachers Association and the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners, not much has been said for Geelani. “My brother is a professor at the Zakir Hussain College, and even the authorities there have not bothered to check up on the family,” Bismillah added.It has been almost a month, since the arrest of SAR, and yet, “I wonder why no one has taken out protests for his release. Why nobody has spoken up for my brother and why there is a silence from the media about his trial,” Bismillah wondered. “There were protests in Kashmir in support for the JNU students,” Bismillah said, “Why is JNU not standing up for a Kashmiri Muslim.”The Geelani family is pained at the dichotomy in the media coverage of the two sedition cases. “We are pleased to see so much support for the students and JNU in particular. These students need our support and JNU, whose image is being tarnished, needs our defence. The liberal atmosphere at JNU continues to remain the last bastion for debate and freedom of speech,” says Bismillah. Nusrat, SAR Geelani’s daughter concurs. Atif, Nusrat’s brother, “the current head of the family,” Bismillah – the uncle jokes, is busy attending to the construction workers in the house and pops in our conversation now and then.Over the afternoon, we touch upon various topics. However, the turmoil that the Geelani clan continues to go through because of the prosecution of SAR and his acquittal in the 2005 parliament attach case takes centre stage.”I was very young when my father fought the case,” said Nusrat. “It has consumed my whole life and it has become a part of who I am now,” she added. The fifth year law student is studying to be a criminal lawyer. “I am very interested in litigation and eventually want to get involved in criminal law,” she said. Her brother Atif, too is a second year law student. Though his interest is leaning more towards judiciary. “I want to get into judiciary,” said Atif, “And let it be known that my judgments will be fair,” he stressed.The cloud of constant suspicion has moulded the life of these two children and it is heartening to see that it has only made them stronger. “I have to be strong, What choice do I have?” said Nusrat. “I am proud to be a Kashmiri Muslim and I am proud to be my father’s son,” added Atif.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s condition stable, Nawaz Sharif wishes speedy recovery

Hardline Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani was admitted in a private hospital in New Delhi after he complained of breathlessness and his condition was on Thursday night described as stable by doctors.The 86-year-old leader had complained of breathlessness and high blood pressure and was taken to Max Hospital, Saket. “Syed Ali Shah Geelani was brought into Max Hospital, Saket emergency with an episode of syncope (fainting episode).<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He is at present stable and under evaluation by the cardiology and neurology team of the hospital,” said a statement issued by the hospital. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today wished a speedy recovery for Syed Ali Shah Geelani while hailing the hardline Kashmiri separatist’s “indefatigable leadership” which he said was a “beacon of freedom” for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.n a message, Sharif on behalf of the people of Pakistan as well as on his own behalf “prayed for full and speedy recovery of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.” “The Prime Minister said Syed Geelani’s indefatigable leadership is a beacon of freedom for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. We pray for his quick recovery and good health,” an official statement said.

Kashmiri separatist leader Geelani suffers minor heart attack, hospitalised in Delhi

Hardline Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani was on admitted in a private hospital in South Delhi after he complained of breathlessness.The 86-year-old leader had complained of breathlessness and high blood pressure and was taken to Max Hospital, Saket.Sources close to him said doctors are conducting medical tests to ascertain his medical condition. Some news reports said he had suffered a minor heart attack and is stable now.

Press Club event: Ex-DU lecturer SAR Geelani’s judicial custody extended

A Delhi court on Thursday extended till March 16 the judicial custody of former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani, arrested on sedition charges. The hearing was conducted through video conference as Geelani was not produced before the court due to the security reasons.Geelani, who was arrested on February 16 in connection with an event at the Press Club of India in New Delhi where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised, was earlier sent to judicial custody on February 18.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police had earlier told the court that an event was held on February 10 in which banners were placed showing Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat as martyrs and anti-national slogans along with slogans demanding independence for Kashmir were raised. It had also said the hall in the club was booked by Geelani through one Ali Javed by using his credit card and another person Mudassar was also involved.Geelani’s counsel, however, had said he was only the convenor and the event was open for all.Geelani’s arrest has come amid the raging row over the arrest of JNU Students’ Union President Kanhaiya Kumar over sedition charges in connection with an event on February 9 at the varsity campus to commemorate the hanging of Guru.At the Press Club event, a group had allegedly shouted slogans hailing Guru, following which the police had lodged a case under sections 124A (sedition), 120B(criminal conspiracy) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of the IPC against Geelani and other unnamed persons.The police had claimed to have registered the FIR taking suo motu cognisance of media clips of the incident. Following registration of the FIR, the police questioned for two consecutive days DU professor Javed, a Press Club member who had booked the hall for the event.Geelani was arrested in connection with the 2001 Parliament attack case but was acquitted for “need of evidence” by the Delhi High Court in October 2003, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in August 2005.

Supreme Court to hear contempt plea against Kanhaiya, Geelani on Monday

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear on 22 February a plea seeking contempt action against jailed Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani and a few others on the grounds that they allegedly termed the execution of Afzal Guru as “judicial killing”.

Kanhaiya Kumar. PTIKanhaiya Kumar. PTI

Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI

A bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justices R Banumathi and UU Lalit fixed the contempt plea for hearing on Monday when the plea alleged that by terming the execution as “judicial killing”, Kumar and others have committed contempt of the court which had delivered the verdict.

The plea, filed by lawyer Vineet Dhanda, refers to the apex court verdict, pronounced on 4 August, 2005 in the case, by which Guru was handed down death penalty for being part of the conspiracy in the attack on Parliament.

“The so-called cultural event’s pamphlets spoke about the judicial killing of Afzal Guru. The main topic of the ‘cultural event’ organised was judicial killing of Afzal Guru which outright tantamount to criminal contempt as the respondents are calling the judges of the apex court as
killers who have been projected to have committed judicial killing of Afzal Guru,” the plea said.

“Afzal and Yakub Memon were no martyrs as projected by the group of students of JNU. The Supreme Court has already passed a detailed judgement in both cases after giving due consideration as per law after going through the evidence,” it further said.

Pamphlets were allegedly distributed during the “so- called” cultural event held at JNU on 9 February that termed death sentence to Guru and Maqbool Bhatt as “judicial killing”, the plea said.

The students, who organised the event, also used social media platforms and “tarnished” the image of Supreme Court, it alleged.

Besides Kanhaiya and Geelani, the plea has sought contempt action against Umar Khalid, Lenin Kumar, Anirban Bhattacharya, Shehla Rashid Shora and Ali Javed.

PTI

Will not file FIR against protesting students, says Jadavpur university V-C

Kolkata: Protests and sloganeering by Jadavpur University students notwithstanding, its Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das on Friday said the varsity would not file FIR against any student as it has always stood for freedom of expression, freedom of speech and autonomy.

“JU has always stood for freedom of expression, freedom of speech as well as for autonomy and we will solve the problem through discussion… That has been JU’s tradition… There is no tradition in JU to file FIRs against students and we maintain it,” he said after a meeting with West Bengal governor Keshari Nath Tripathi.

Jadavpur University. File photo. IBNLiveJadavpur University. File photo. IBNLive

Jadavpur University. File photo. IBNLive

“JU has a particular tradition… To ensure that the university remains a place for debate, a place for discussion and a place for deliberation and we will maintain that tradition. Whatever steps we need to take to address the issues we will take them in accordance to the university rules and regulations and conventions,” Das said.

Tripathi had sought a report on the anti-India sloganeering inside JU campus.

Slogans in favour of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru were raised on Wednesday at a rally brought out by JU students to express solidarity with their JNU counterparts agitating against the arrest of their leader Kanhaiya Kumar for alleged sedition.

Slogans like “Afzal bole azadi, Geelani bole azadi” and “Cheenke ke lenge azadi” were raised. Other slogans like “Freedom from RSS, freedom from Modi government“, “Jab Kashmir ne maangi azadi, Manipur bhi boli azadi” were also raised.

On the meeting with the governor, who is also the university chancellor, Das said Tripathi has asked for a
report and the University administration would have an executive council meeting on Monday.

“The Chancellor has asked me to send a report on the points he has mentioned. On Monday we will have an executive council meeting where we will discuss those matters,” he said.

PTI

SAR Geelani remanded to 14-day judicial custody

Former Delhi University professor SAR Geelani was produced in a make shift court in the office of the Diplomatic Security Force in Chanakyapuri and was remanded to 14 days judicial custody.In lieu of the violence that has rocked Patiala House Court since Monday, the state submitted an application in front of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Sumit Das requesting for a change of venue. The request was granted and Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh went to Chanakyapuri Police Station, almost seven kilometres away from the Patiala House District Court complex, to conduct the remand proceedings. “We were waiting in the MM’s court room at Patiala House when we were given intimation about the change in venue,” Tamta stated. He was also told not to disclose this information to anybody.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Here, the police stated that Geelani was no longer required for custodial interrogation and that he should be remanded to judicial custody. Tamta moved a bail application on behalf of his client and the hearing will be taken up on Friday at noon. Tamta has also requested that his client be housed in a high security ward since he fears for his life inside the jail.After a failed assassination attempt in 2005, Geelani has been granted Y class security and 2 Personal Security Officials (PSO) are assigned to him for protection.Geelani was apprehended by the Delhi Police on Monday night outside the Zakir Hussain College and was formally arrested at 3 am the same night. He has been charged with sedition in connection with an event held at the Press Club of India, Delhi, where Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt were portrayed as martyrs, anti-national slogans were raised and a demand for Kashmir’s independence was touched upon.

Press Club row: Former DU lecturer SAR Geelani sent to 14-day judicial custody

Taking no chances after two days of violence in the Patiala House Courts complex, Delhi Police on Thursday presented former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani, arrested on sedition charges, before a magistrate in a police station for remand proceedings.The remand proceedings passed of peacefully far from the Patiala House Courts which was the scene of violence on Monday and Wednesday when a group of lawyers had thrashed journalists and JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar in brazen defiance of Supreme Court order.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Geelani, who was arrested in connection with an event at the Press Club of India here where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised last week, was remanded to judicial custody till March 3 by the magistrate. He also moved a bail application which will come up for hearing before Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh on Friday.Earlier in the day, not wanting to take any risk, the police approached the magistrate and requested that the remand proceedings be held in a police station away from Patiala House Courts complex. The violence had triggered nationwide outrage and the Delhi Police had come under criticism for its alleged inaction.A magistrate then went to Chanakyapuri Police Station, about 7 kms away from Patiala House Court, for the hearing when police said Geelani was not required for any further custodial interrogation so he be remanded to judicial custody.Advocate Satish Tamta, who represented Geelani, moved a bail application on behalf of his client and the magistrate fixed it for hearing tomorrow. On February 16, the court had sent Geelani to two-day police custody after the agency had said they required his custodial interrogation to identify those involved in raising anti-India slogans. Police had earlier told the court that an event was held on February 10 in which banners were placed showing Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat as martyrs and anti-national slogans along with slogans demanding independence for Kashmir were raised. It had also said the hall in the club was booked by Geelani through one Ali Javed by using his credit card and another person Mudassar was also involved.Geelani’s counsel, however, had said he was only the convenor and the event was open for all. Geelani’s arrest has come amid the raging row over the arrest of JNU Students’ Union President Kanhaiya Kumar over sedition charges in connection with an event at the varsity campus against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on February 9.At the Press Club event, a group had allegedly shouted slogans hailing Guru, following which the police had lodged a case under sections 124A (sedition), 120B(criminal conspiracy) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of the IPC against Geelani and other unnamed persons. The police had claimed to have registered the FIR taking suo motu cognisance of media clips of the incident.Following registration of the FIR, the police questioned for two consecutive days DU professor Ali Javed, a Press Club member who had booked the hall for the event. Geelani was arrested in connection with the 2001 Parliament attack case but was acquitted for “need of evidence” by the Delhi High Court in October 2003, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in August 2005.

JNU Row: SAR Geelani ‘reveals’ names of students shouting anti-national slogans at PCI, say reports

Former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani, who was arrested on charges of sedition, will be produced before the Patiala House court on Thursday, as his two-day police custody ends today. Meanwhile, according to a CNN-IBN report, Geelani has revealed to the police the names of four students who shouted anti-national slogans at the recent event at Press Club of India (PCI). The police is trying to identify the students. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Geelani was arrested on the charges of sedition in connection with an event held at the PCI on February 10, where allegedly ‘anti-India’ slogans were raised. Earlier, the police produced Geelani before Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh and sought two-day police custody.Geelani reportedly also confessed that he had held similar events at PCI in 2014 and 2015.Geelani’s arrest comes amid a raging controversy over the arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University’s students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar on the sedition charges.After a case was registered, the police questioned DU professor Ali Javed, a Press Club member, who had booked the hall for the event.

Geelani is a Kashmiri and a Muslim, both fits into government’s image of an anti-national: Jagmohan Singh

When former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani was arrested two days ago on sedition charges, his close friends and colleagues, including professor Jagmohan Singh, vice president of Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP), were hardly surprised.Talking to dna, Singh, who is freedom fighter Bhagat Singh’s nephew and also Geelani’s colleague at CRPP, admitted that the former DU lecturer’s detention was on the cards, since Geelani is a Kashmiri and a Muslim, both of which fits in the current government’s image of an ‘anti-national’.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It was evident. Whenever someone puts an odd question to this government, they prefer to arrest the person and label him as anti-national, instead of answering the question,” Singh said, agreeing that the level of intolerance in the country has grown by huge proportions in the last many months.Singh and CRPP, has been closely advocating the cause for release of political prisoners in the country. According to him, CRPP, acts an interface between the ‘voiceless’ prisoners and public, with an aim of creating mass awareness on them. Over the years, CRPP was been widely working in creating awareness on many prisoners, many of them under trials, especially from conflict zones such as Jammu & Kashmir and the north eastern areas of the country.Talking about Geelani’s arrest, Singh said the committee has long been advocating the cause of doing away with hanging a prisoner to death as as a punishment, and the recent topic of Afzal Guru came up as a result of that.”Hanging is the most degrading punishment,” Singh said, adding that in both the JNU case and in the arrest of Geelani, the main concern was sidelined and they were falsely charged with sedition for having a voice.Defining ‘political prisoners’, Singh said they are usually those with some amount of consciousness, or with a view. “It is often for that view that they are illegally put behind the bars and are falsely implicated in cases. There has been several such cases in the country, where despite being imprisoned for two years, no evidences have been found against them,” Singh, 72, said.”Legally or otherwise, we will do whatever is possible from our side to ensure justice to Geelani,” Singh said. Geelani is the working president of CRPP.Geelani was arrested comes amid a huge unrest in the Jawaharlal Nehru University over its student’s union president Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest for alleged ‘anti-national’ activities.Singh, who never met his uncle Bhagat Singh in person, said he met the late freedom fighter through his letters and books and via his mother. Fighting for the voiceless surviving behind the bars has been influenced by his uncle, he said.

#JNURow escalates: Now Jadavpur University students raise pro-Afzal and ‘azadi’ slogans

Kolkata: Amid the row over anti-India slogans at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi, slogans eulogising parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru and demands for “azadi” echoed in Jadavpur University in Kolkata on Tuesday.

Slogans like “Afzal bole azadi, jab tum na doge azadi, to cheen lenge azadi, arey cheen ke lenge azadi” were heard during a torchlight procession brought out at Jadavpur University in protest against the “atrocities” perpetrated on JNU students by the Narendra Modi government.

A student holds a torch during a rally to protest against the arrest of a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), outside the Jadavpur University campus. ReutersA student holds a torch during a rally to protest against the arrest of a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), outside the Jadavpur University campus. Reuters

A student holds a torch during a rally to protest against the arrest of a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), outside the Jadavpur University campus. Reuters

They also raised slogans chanting the names of SAR Geelani, a former professor of Delhi University who was arrested on Tuesday for raising anti-India slogans at the Press Club in Delhi.

Another slogan heard was “Jo ishrat ne manga, azadi/Jo Manipur mange azadi/To Cheen ke lenge, azadi”.

The rally, convened by students unions of the three faculties — science, arts and engineering — of Jadavpur University in the campus, was well attended.

The students also spoke out against the arrest of JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar, and the “ill-treatment” meted out to Hyderabad University Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula that “forced him to take his own life”.

All India Students Association (AISA) leader Anumita Mitra justified the slogans saying these only questioned the lack of transparency in Afzal’s trial and his subsequent death penalty.

“The slogans demand azadi from making Indian laws like khap panchayat. If slogans protesting against the branding of scholars like Rohith Vemula as anti-national and terrorist by the Modi government for challenging cast exploitation are anti-national, then we are all anti-nationals,” said Mitra, a third year student.

However, Nirjhar Mukhopadhay, another student leader who was at the forefront of the rally, blamed “some fringe elements” for the slogans raised supporting Afzal Guru and Geelani.

“Various types of people are present at rallies. Some fringe elements gave these slogans. But that does not reflect the stand of the majority of students. They don’t reflect my opinion.”

But he admitted that he had said: “Kashmir mange azadi/Manipur mange azadi”.

“Please let me tell you in what context I have said that. We all love our country. ‘Azadi’ for us signifies freedom from atrocities, atrocities of the Modi government, and freedom from intolerance,” he added.

In a separate statement, the Students Federation of India opposed the slogans, saying “such slogans should not be raised from processions of students which directly or indirectly support any act of terrorism or a terrorist”.

“At a time efforts are on to peddle a fundamentalist brand of nationalist across the country, and brign about communal polarisation, and undermine left student politics, such irresponsible acts will strengthen the hands of the fascist forces. And harm the ongoing movements.”

“SFI is determined to oppose secessionism, communalism, as also fundamentalist brand of nationalism and efforts at communal polarisation,” said SFI president Maadhuja Sen Roy.

IANS

SAR Geelani remanded to two-day police custody

A Delhi trial court remanded former Delhi University professor SAR Geelani to two days police custody on Tuesday. Police officials apprehended Geelani at 8:30 pm on Monday and he was formally arrested at 3am the same night after several rounds of questioning.Geelani has been charged with sedition and criminal conspiracy in connection with an event held at the Press Club of India in the capital where anti-India sloganeering took place. “Police investigation is integral part of investigation and the accused has said that he can identify those who raised anti-India slogans. Since he (Geelani) was the convener of the meeting, therefore, the case of grant of police custody is made out,” Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh stated.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In its application, the police stated that an event was organised at the press club where Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt’s photos were posted and banner claiming them as martyrs were placed. Apparently anti-national slogans demanding the independence of Kashmir were also raised. The FIR was filed by the SHO of the Parliament Street police station taking suo moto notice by watching media clips of the event.According to police officials, the Station House Officer (SHO) of the Parliament Street Police station saw a clipping of an event on a news channel after which cognizance was taken and an officer was sent to investigate.According to the initial probe, police officials concluded that Geelani, though the convenor of the event, had no hand in the actual logistics behind organising it. This they believe was done through associates of Geelani whom they wish to identify and locate.However, advocate Satish Tamta appearing for Geelani stated that his client had been apprehended at 8:30 pm the previous day and arrested in the middle of the night; hence, the officials had already interrogated enough.He also went on to state that the event though convened by Geelani was an open event that could be attended by anybody.Geelani’s arrest comes amid the furore over the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar, president of the student union of Jawarharlal Nehru University (JNU). Kumar was booked under charges of sedition for apparently raising anti-national slogans at an event held at the JNU campus on February 9.The furore over the arrest led to a violent clash where lawyers attacked and rampaged against JNU students, teachers and media persons at the Patiala House Court on Monday. In lieu of this, the security at the trial court complex was beefed up and close to two companies of police officials stood guard around the perimeter. In apprehension of a repeat of yesterday’s clashes, police officials tried to stop this reporter and a few others from entering the court complex saying “permission to enter the court complex has been denied to reporters by the higher ups.”

JNU row: Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani supports SAR Geelani and Kanhaiya Kumar

Hardline Hurriyat Conference chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Tuesday came out in support of former Delhi University professor SAR Geelani and JNU Students Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar, saying their arrest over alleged anti-India statements amounts to “muzzling the freedom of expression”.The separatist leader said, “this detention has no constitutional and legal justification and it is an act of muzzling the freedom of expression”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Demanding immediate release of Geelani and Kanhaiya, the Hurriyat leader said, “The secular and democratic claims of India are badly exposed day by day and this country is on its way to become an extremely intolerant Hindu Rashtra.” He also termed as “baseless and ridiculous” the comment by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh linking the JNU event with Pakistan and Hafiz Sayeed.Controversial Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid also jumped into the row, saying “I thank and salute the students and scholars of JNU for raising their voice against the hanging of (Parliament attack convict Afzal) Guru. Hats off to them.”He added, “Unfortunately, BJP and Congress are trying to use it for political gains and are giving it a political colour. It is an ideological war and battle of ideas, not a battle between BJP and Congress.”Rashid said “if the students of JNU are anti-national, then why is BJP trying to ally with the PDP” whose MLAs “had endorsed my stand on Guru on eve of seeking my support for Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council elections last year”.

Pro Afzal Guru slogan at Press Club: Police quiz DU professor for second day

Delhi Police on Saturday continued its questioning of DU professor Ali Javed in connection with an event where slogans were raised allegedly hailing Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, leading to registration of a case of sedition against SAR Geelani, a former lecturer of the varsity and an accused in the Parliament attack case who was later acquitted.Javed, a member of Press Club of India who had booked a hall on its premises for the event, was questioned for hours for the second consecutive day, a police official said. All those who were present on the dais at the said event will be asked to join investigation at the earliest, the official added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Among those present on the dais were Geelani, Javed and two other Delhi University professors — Nirmalangshu Mukherji and Tripta Wahi. Delhi Police on Friday said they have booked Geelani and several unnamed persons in a case of sedition, criminal conspiracy and unlawful assembly in connection with the event in which “anti-India sloganeering” took place.Police claimed Geelani was booked as he is presumed to be the main organiser of the event. “Request for booking a hall at Press Club was done through Geelani’s e-mail ID and the nature of the event was proposed to be a public meeting. We are monitoring video footage and trying to ascertain the identity of the ones involved in anti- India sloganeering,” a senior official had said.Geelani was acquitted by Delhi High Court in October 2003 for lack of evidence in connection with the Parliament attack case. The decision upheld by Supreme Court in August 2005 which, at the same time, observed that the needle of suspicion pointed towards him.

Ex-Delhi University professor SAR Geelani too booked for sedition

A day after unidentified persons were booked under sedition charges for allegedly organising an event in remembrance of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru at Jawaharlal Nehru University, former Delhi University Professor SAR Geelani was also booked under similar charges by New Delhi district police. Geelani had organised an event at Press Club of India in which Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was being hailed.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”An FIR has been registered against Geelani and other unnamed persons under Sections 124A (sedition), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of IPC in connection with the event at the Press Club in which anti-India sloganeering took place,” DCP (New Delhi) Jatin Narwal said.Geelani, who founded Centre for Release of Political Prisoners after he was acquitted of all charges for his alleged involvement in the Parliament attack, was the moderator of the event in which a number of speakers addressed issues ranging from capital punishment, Indian Judiciary and Kashmir issue.Police said that it had registered the sedition case against Geelani and other unknown persons after taking suo motu cognizance of media clips of the incident. Police also claimed that Geelani was booked as he is presumed to be the main organiser of the event. “Request for booking a hall at press club was done through Geelani’s e-mail and the nature of the event was proposed to be a public meeting,” Narwal said.While speaking to dna, SAR Geelani said that he had not been contacted by the Delhi police yet but expected any action on their part. “I don’t wish to elaborate on the issue. I just heard that an FIR has been lodged against me and I am assuming the police to do their job.”The development came in the midst of a police raid on JNU campus where they arrested JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar for allegedly being involved in organising what they termed as an anti-national event. Students requesting anonymity said multiple teams of Delhi police roamed about the campus with a list of students provided to them by activists of ABVP. “We have been outside our rooms all day because of the police crackdown. They have ransacked our rooms and we don’t think its a good idea to go back to our rooms,” said one student.Meanwhile, the Press Club also issued a statement to the media condemning the incident on its premises and said a strong action had been against the member under whose signature the conference hall was hired.

Former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani booked for sedition in Press Club incident

Former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani has been booked for sedition in connection with an event at Press Club of India here, in which a group shouted slogans hailing Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.”An FIR has been registered against Geelani and other unnamed persons under Sections 124A (sedition), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of IPC in connection with the event at the Press Club in which anti-India sloganeering took place,” DCP (New Delhi) Jatin Narwal said on Friday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The action against Geelani, who was acquitted in the Parliament attack case, comes even as Delhi Police yesterday registered a case of sedition in connection with a Tuesday event at JNU campus here against the hanging of Afzal Guru following complaints by BJP MP Maheish Girri and ABVP.The police claimed to have registered the sedition case against Geelani and others after taking suo motu cognizance of media clips of the incident.”By the time we registered the case, we had received no complaints from any party,” Narwal said.Police also claimed that Geelani was booked as he is presumed to be the main organiser of the event.”Request for booking a hall at press club was done through Geelani’s e-mail and the nature of the event was proposed to be a public meeting,” Narwal said.Calls and text messages to Geelani for his comments went unanswered.”We are monitoring video footage and trying to ascertain the identity of the ones involved in anti-India sloganeering.We shall question several individuals who were present at the event,” a senior official said.Press Club of India yesterday issued a show-cause notice to the member who had booked the conference hall for the event on Wednesday.”At the outset, we strongly condemn the incident that happened on Press Club premises by miscreants yesterday. We have taken strong action against the member under whose signature the conference hall was hired. A show-cause notice has been served and further action will follow,” Secretary General of the Press Club, Nadeem Ahmad Kazmi, had said.When contacted, Professor Ali Javed of Delhi University, the member of the club who had booked the premises for the presser, distanced himself from the event, saying he does not approve of the sloganeering and he was not one of the organisers.Geelani was acquitted by the Delhi High Court in October 2003, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in August 2005 which at the same time observed that the needle of suspicion pointed towards him.

Chance of ISIS reaching Kashmir almost zero: Syed Ali Shah Geelani

Hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Saturday said the chances of Islamic State expanding its operations to Kashmir were “almost zero” and dismissed the terror outfit’s reported claims in this regard.”The chances of the Islamic State about reaching Kashmir are almost zero,” Geelani said in a statement. Reacting to the reported statement by the Islamic State on Kashmir, Geelani said the only thing it will do is “give the Government of India a chance to globally defame the movement of Kashmiris”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Questioning the claims of Islamic State, Geelani said if the group had any sincerity, they would have “liberated the Al Aqsa mosque in West Asia”. “They would have gone to help the Palestinian brothers who are being tortured and brutalised for the past 60 years,” he added. Geelani said instead of solving any issues faced by the Muslims, the advent of Islamic State has plunged the Muslim world into a civil war.

South Kashmir township on warpath over memorial for militants

Imagine a memorial for the slain militants in Kashmir!South Kashmir Township of Pulwama is up in arms against the authorities for rejecting their demand of constructing a memorial for the slain militants in the `martyrs’ graveyard of the main market.For the last 12 days the township has been observing a shutdown prompting the authorities to invoke Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to ensure the essential services and supplies to the people in the district.The demand for memorial was spurred by the death of a local militant of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Omais Ahmad Sheikh, in Bandipora district last month. Soon after he was buried, the youth started raising slogans and demanded the memorial be built. The youth wanted the names and pictures of the people slain in encounters and other incidents to be superimposed on the memorial.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Some 400 to 800 youths wanted to erect a sign board. We as elders suggested to them that they should not write anything except Mazar-e-Shohuda (martyrs’ graveyard). They wanted to display the pictures of the people buried in the graveyard. Then we arrived at a consensus that we should put up a simple sign board with Mazar-e-Shohuda written on it,” said Bashir Azam, head of the local Auquaf in Pulwama.Local Auquaf members and traders held several rounds of meeting with the district administration to evolve a consensus. “There has been no progress, however. We want only the sign board to be put up outside the graveyard.No photographs and nothing else. The administration should accept this demand. People are facing a lot of difficulty and traders have suffered losses worth crores of rupees,” said Azam.What, however, added a new dimension to whole saga was the support extended by separatists for the martyrs’ memorial. “Youth who are making sacrifices are our heroes and worth to be respected. Installing martyrs’ memorial board on the entrance of the Shaheed Park is a good move which should be followed by other districts as well. It is beyond our understanding why the police are creating hurdles,” said Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani.District development commissioner Niraj Kumar said talks are on but there has been no breakthrough. “We are holding talks but so far nothing has come out,” he said.

Rajasthan govt accepts dalit IAS officer’s VRS application

The application of Salodia, who was due to retire in June, 2016, was accepted with effect from March 31, 2016, according to the order issued by department of personnel of the state government today. A 1978 batch officer Salodia wrote to Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje expressing disappointment for purportedly being overlooked for the post of chief secretary and alleged that he was victimised because of his Schedule Caste origin.
The state government, however, has already rejected his allegations as “baseless”. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

ALSO READ IAS officer from SC community converts to Islam, takes VRS claiming ‘victimization’

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Not against friendly India-Pak ties, says hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Geelani

The Hurriyat hawk said the formula was just a “deception” and any such proposal would again be rejected by the Kashmiri people. The formula envisaged softening of Line of Control (LoC), self-governance, phased withdrawal of troops from entire Jammu and Kashmir and joint supervision by India and Pakistan.

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