Kashmir separatism hawk, Geelani criticizes militants for killings

Srinagar: Chairman of Separatist Group, Hurriyat’s Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani yesterday criticized militants for killing Sarpanchas in Kashmir and said that his amalgam supports fighting politicians politically.

“We favor fighting politicians (including panches and sarpanches) politically,” he told reporters at his Hyderpora residence here.

Nearly 12 elected grassroot workers were killed by suspected militants in Kashmir Valley since the democratic exercise conducted after nearly three decades in April last year, forcing many to resign in panic.

In one such killings at Pattan this week, police arrested a leader of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, the party formed by Geelani after parting ways with Jamaat-e-Islami in 2004, and booked him under section 302 (murder).

The hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman said “we don’t believe in coercive measures.”

He accused the government of falsely implicating Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Tehsil president Abdullah Nasir in the killing of a panch.

Geelani alleged by connecting Nasir with the killing, the government is planning to impose a ban on Tehreek.

Accusing the government of “strong arm tactics”, he said it has banned political activities of the Hurriyat and even does not allow organization to hold religious functions.

“Virtually, I continue to be under house arrest for the past two years,” Geelani said terming the government’s step as “unjust, unconstitutional and unlawful”.

Zahid Maqbool is a freelance journalist based in Srinagar.

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