Govt rejects Geelani plea on Yatra duration

Hurriyat leader wanted yatra restricted to 30 days

Govt rejects Geelani plea on Yatra duration

Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday rejected hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani’s demand to restrict Amarnath yatra to 30-days saying “irrelevant” separatists were trying to flare up communal issues to seek attention.

“As separatists find themselves irrelevant, they make such statements to seek media attention. Such statements should not be taken seriously,” J&K Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh told reporters here when asked to comment on Geelani’s assertions.

He said the Yatra will be held according to schedule and there was no question of any changes. “The government will provide all facilities, including security, to the pilgrims. (It) will give all cooperation to the shrine board,” Singh added.

Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), managing the affairs of the Yatra, decided to increase the duration of this year’s pilgrimage from 44-days (last year) to 59 days.

During a rally in Tral, the Hurriyat hawk on Friday asked the government to restrict the Yatra for 30 days for “safety” of pilgrims and protection of environment. The rally, which was the first in seven years by Geelani in the militancy-infested township also witnessed pro-Pakistan sloganeering and waving of Pakistani flags.

However, the Deputy CM outrightly rejected Geelani’s demand and said: “They (separatists) have been trying to vitiate the atmosphere. But people of Jammu and Kashmir have rejected them as they have given power to PDP and BJP government. People want development and rehabilitation of flood victims.”

On the issue of Geelani’s supporters waving Pakistani flags during Tral rally on Friday, he said: “The law will take its own course. The government and police are working on it. Whosoever is the culprit and indulge in such activities, action would be taken against them.”

Hinting that the government will act tough against those indulging in anti-national activities, Singh said, “The government has never been soft towards anti-national forces. Masarat Alam was booked under treason and is now behind bars for his anti-national activities.”

Govt to take action against Geelani

The Jammu & Kashmir government will take action against those responsible for hoisting Pakistani flags during a rally led by separatist Hurriyat leader Syed Geelani at Tral earlier this week, DHNS reports from Ahmedabad.“The law will take its own course. Nobody will be spared,” J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Saeed told mediapersons.

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