Move to hold separatist seminar in Kashmir thwarted

Move to hold separatist seminar in Kashmir thwarted
A seminar to be organised here today by Hurriyat Conference with attendance of Punjab separatists and others was thwarted by the Jammu and Kashmir government amid its assertion that no "anti-India" activity will be allowed in the state.

Authorities placed under house arrest several top leaders of the hardline Hurriyat Conference whose chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani is already under such restrictions since last week. "The residence of Geelani has been converted into an unofficial jail. No one is allowed to enter or leave the premises," an aide of Geelani said.

He said while Geelani is under house arrest since last week, Hurriyat spokesperson Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, Ayaz Akbar and Raja Mehraj-ud-din were placed under house arrest yesterday. The Hurriyat was to host a seminar titled 'How to Resist the Indian State Fascism' today to which several separatist leaders, including from Sikhs groups, and Christian community representatives were invited.

A few days back, a Hurriyat spokesman had said that "people from different walks of life" will express their views at the seminar. Those invited to the seminar included Akali Dal (Amritsar) leader Simranjit Singh Mann, Dal Khalsa leader Kanwarpal Singh, noted human rights activist Gautam Navlakha and representatives of the Christian community.

Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, while talking to reporters in Jammu on Friday, had said the government will not allow "anti-India" activities in the state. "No such rally or seminar will be allowed in the land of Jammu and Kashmir," Singh had said when his attention was drawn to this seminar.
Geelani, while condemning the move, said the government has shown intolerance even to peaceful programmes. "The government has completely buried the 'Battle of Ideas' slogan of the (Chief Minister) Mufti Mohammad Sayeed," Geelani said in a statement.

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