Srinagar : Hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Geelani was today detained as he tried to take out a parallel rally to that of Prime Minister Narendra
Modi’s public rally here. Geelani was detained by a contingent of police outside his residence in Hyderpora area of the city here, a spokesman of the Hurriyat said.
He said Geelani, who has been under house arrest for the past several months, had called for a ‘Million march’ at TRC ground to counter Modi’s rally. As soon as he left his residence, the police detained him and took him to Humhama police station, the spokesman said.
He termed Geelani’s detention as “undemocratic hooliganism”, adding that ‘Million march’ was a peaceful and democratic referendum to send a message to the world that we want freedom from forced Indian military occupation. “The way police imposed curfew to foil the march has exposed Indian democracy,” he said.
Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq also condemned the curbs on the people, saying the Prime Minister’s visit under such measures was “meaningless”for the people of Kashmir. “Kashmir is not an economic issue but a humanitarian and political one. If India wants to win the hearts of the people of Kashmir, it should take positive measures to resolve the long standing issue in accordance to the wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiris,” he said.
Reacting to the Prime Minister’s rally, JKLF chairman Yaseen Malik said these “dramas have and will never succeed in weakening our desire and resolve for freedom”. “Our reply to Mr Modi is same as of (M K ) Gandhi Jee who once told a British leader that self respect and freedom of his nation is more dearer to him than the progress and prosperity under occupation,” Malik said.
He said Kashmiris had given a “befitting reply” to Modi and his “Kashmiri stooges” by observing a shutdown and civil curfew. The police also detained five members of a family here as they apparently tried to march to TRC grounds in support of Geelani’s call for ‘Million March’. Some activists of Dukhtaran-e-Millat led by Asiya Andrabi were also detained at Gojwara Chowk as they tried to march towards TRC ground.
Meanwhile, clashes took place between protesters and law enforcing agencies at several places in the valley, leaving seven persons, including two police officials injured. The stone-pelting incidents were reported at Singhpora and Pattan in Baramulla district, Panthachowk and Frastibal near Pampore in Pulwama, Channapora, Narbal crossing and Parimpora in Srinagar, officials said. They said seven persons, including two police constables were injured in the stone-pelting and were hospitalised.
In a bid to reach out to people of Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today invoked Atal Bihari Vajpayee and announced a Rs 80,000 crore package at a rally here, saying funds would not be a constraint in building a modern, progressive and prosperous state.