Freed Geelani Offers Friday Prayers, Finally
… but clashes erupt in area soon after with Musa slogans; traffic disrupted
Srinagar, Mar 30: Day after the state police chief declared him as free man, Hurriyat-G chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani today offered Friday congregational prayers at a local mosque near his residence.
Geelani, who has spent most of the past eight years under house-arrest particularly on Fridays, offered the congregation prayers at a local Jamia Masjid near his residence in Hyderpora area of the city. He was accompanied by Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairman Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai and some of his supporters.
Pertinently, Director General of Police S P Vaid had last night told a local newspaper, Greater Kashmir that Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik were free to go anywhere. However, he said that the separatist leaders won’t be allowed to create law and order problems.
“I came to know that the state authorities have declared I, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik as free and that we can move anywhere anytime without any obstruction. Matter was discussed thoroughly with senior members and the leadership will come up with fitting reply vis-à-vis the statement,” said Geelani addressing people at Jamia Masjid Hyderpora.
Reiterating his demand for plebiscite in the state, Geelani said United Nations and its constituents are witnesses to the fact that India and Pakistan unanimously decided to give people a chance to decide their future through referendum.
“It was India which took issue to United Nations wherein the Kashmir was acknowledged as disputed territory and decided that people of Kashmir must be given rights to decide their future through referendum. We have been and remain adamant on our demand that India should accepts Kashmir as dispute and implement UN resolutions,” Hurriyat-G chairman added.
Geelani also cautioned the people against “divide and rule policy of pro-India parties” and stressed for unity among all those pursuing the “sacred mission”.
“I, with a sincere heart, want to convey that we are yearning for peace and seek peaceful resolution to the long- pending Kashmir issue,” said Geelani, saying, “India needs to fulfill its promise of giving Kashmiris their right to self-determination to choose their future.”
Immediately after the prayers, Geelani left for his residence amid pro-freedom, pro-Islam and pro-Zakir Musa slogans.
Meanwhile clashes broke out at Hyderpora area after youth resorted to stone pelting on deployed government forces prompting them to charge batons and fire tear smoke shells to disperse the mob.
Traffic movement on busy Airport Road also came to halt for half-an-hour during the clashes between youth and government forces; however no one has been reported injured in the incident.