Geelani, Masarat put under house arrest

Last Updated 16 April 2015, 20:47 IST

Hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and separatist leader Masarat Alam were on Thursday put under house arrest ahead of their rally in Tral town of Pulwama district today.

"Geelani has been placed under house arrest. A posse of policemen has been deployed outside the chairman's house at Hyderpora as a preventive measure to maintain law and order," a police officer said, adding that similar restriction has been slapped on Alam.

Coming under attack from all quarters including PDP ally BJP over yesterday's rally by separatists in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed denied permission for tomorrow's congregation even as he said waving of Pakistani flags and raising pro-Pak slogans were "not acceptable" and "will not be tolerated".

Sayeed directed the police to refuse permission for a rally which was scheduled to be taken from Srinagar to Tral where a youth was killed allegedly by army while in their custody.

Geelani, against whom police has registered a case, issued a statement late in the evening saying that he would not be cowed down by the state government.

Sayeed was called hours after the rally in Srinagar on Wednesday by Home Minister Rajnath Singh asking him to take "immediate and stringent" action against the law breakers.

The Home Minister today again asserted, "We will not tolerate anyone raising slogans like 'Pakistan zindabad' on Indian soil.

"There can be no compromise on national security. Politics cannot impinge on national security," he told Sayeed.

Pushed on the backfoot, Sayeed tried to defend his decision of giving permission to the rally but made it clear that hoisting of Pakistan flags and raising pro-Pakistan slogans "is not acceptable and will not be tolerated."

"I think authorities have taken note of that. They have taken a video of what has happened. I think law will take its own course, action will be taken.

"As far as the public meeting is concerned, I think it is okay. As I say, democracy is a battle of ideas. They are free to have their own way, speak their own mind but something which is not acceptable (waving Pakistani flags or raising pro-Pakistan slogans) will not be tolerated."

The state Government, in which BJP is an alliance partner, came in for flak over its decision to allow Geelani to hold the rally in Srinagar city which comes after a gap of five years.

During the rally, separatist Alam, released from jail last month, praised founder of Lashker-e-Taiba terror outfit Hafeez Sayeed and asked people to join hands with his outfit.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police has registered an FIR against Geelani, Alam and another separatist leader from Hurriyat Conference under various sections of Ranbir Penal Code and Unlawful (Activities) Prevention Act.

(Published 16 April 2015, 17:38 IST)

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