Home Ministry to probe detention of scribe Iftikhar Geelani

Home Ministry to probe detention of scribe Iftikhar Geelani

I&B minister terms the incident unfortunate; seeks evidence

The Union Home Ministry on Monday said an enquiry would be conducted into the alleged detention and harassment of a senior journalist and members of his family by the Delhi Police.

The ministry’s decision comes a day after the Press Council of India (PCI) sought its intervention, urging for action against those responsible for the detention of the journalist.

In a complaint to the PCI,  journalist Iftikhar Geelani alleged that Delhi Police special cell sleuths wrongfully detained him and his wife along with hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani at a flat here on Saturday after the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Iftikhar’s two young children were kept locked in a room by the policemen at his residence located nearby. Iftikhar, who is an assistant editor of a newspaper here, is the son-in-law of the Hurriyat leader.

“I know (Iftikhar) Gilani very well. We will inquire into the matter,” Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said at a press conference here, when journalists raised the issue and sought clarification from him on the police action against the journalist.

The police action against the journalist was widely condemned by the media fraternity here. Congress spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit had to face a number of  questions from journalists on the issue as he arrived to hold the routine briefing of the party at All India Congress Committee headquarters here.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari termed the Iftikhar’s detention “unfortunate.” He suggested that if there was any evidence against him, it should be brought on record, else action should be taken against those police officials who were responsible for their act.

Guru wrote to wife before execution

A few hours before being hanged at Tihar Jail, Afzal Guru fulfilled his one last wish. He wrote a letter to his wife, reports DHNS from New Delhi

Sources said Guru wrote the letter in Urdu on February 9, the day he was hanged and handed it over to the jail authorities. “The letter was couriered to his family at Sopore town in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla district,” sources said. Jail officials did not reveal the contents of the letter.  Guru’s family, however, said they have not received any such letter yet.

Guru was informed about the hanging on Friday. He appeared to be nervous thereafter. On Saturday morning, he seemed restless and expressed a desire to write to his wife, following which the jail officials gave him a pen and a paper. He was hanged at 8 am.

His family had reportedly written to the prison authorities for permission to conduct his last rites. The government has not allowed that yet. The family has also asked the jail authorities for his belongings.  “A decision will be taken on that,” said sources.

His possessions include spectacles and some religious books. Guru’s lawyer, N D Pancholi, will discuss the issue with jail officials on Tuesday. 

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