Action unlikely against Roy, Geelani

According to highly-placed government sources, the home ministry has all but decided not to charge the two because of two reasons. Action against Geelani would  be counterproductive as it could give further ammunition to the already stepped up tempo of the Kashmiri agitators. This may escalate the situation in the Valley especially at a time when the visit of US president Barack Obama is round the corner.

The government does not want Obama to arrive at a time with the country’s vexatious region is witnessing heightened violence although it would be a good publicity for the protesters.

The ministry is said to have suggested that there was no need for action against Roy as it would make her a hero. Action against her may not help the government but would rather give her added publicity. The ministry is said to be of the view that while technically her words may justify action, it was not really worth it.  “It is democracy versus free speech and it is true she has taken it to the extreme”, ministry sources said, while admitting that any action was unlikely.

The government may go by the line taken by its main partner, the Congress on the issue on Tuesday. Congress spokesman Manish Tewary said reacting to the issue: “Roy does not represent any political party, she speaks for herself. I don’t know why exaggerated importance is being given for individual views”.

Senior lawyers Harish Salve  is of the view that it was better to ignore Roy’s comments. “Action against her may only internationalise the Kashmir issue which is what they want. It is not at all sensible to prosecute people in the Kashmir context”, said Salve.

However, those who are opposed to this view say why should there be selective action and point out that leaders such as Vaiko in Tamil Nadu and SS Mann were charged with sedition while Roy and Kashmir leaders should be left out.

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