Riyaz Ul Khaliq
In one of the major surprise moves, Hurriyat patriarch, Syed Ali Geelani, Sunday forenoon defied police restrictions and walked out of his “garrisoned” residence and released a book on main Hyderpora-Airport road.
Notably, Geelani (87) is under continuous house detention since he returned from New Delhi.
Hurriyat Conference (g) had organized a book release function in honour of author and columnist, Hassan Zainagiree. Zainagiree, who retired as a teacher, has authored – Kashmir: Aatish-i-Zaer Pa.
“It caught everyone by surprise,” a Hurriyat activist told Kashmir Life, “PDP led government has garrisoned the residence of our Quaid and it was impossible for Geelani sahab to move out.” The continuous house detention, Hurriyat Conference (g) said, has affected health of Geelani.
Knowing that the authorities won’t allow them to hold the program, Hurriyat Conference (g) had invited a select number of guests and its members.
“We first thought to hold the program inside the office premises but police sealed the area,” a Hurriyat Conference (g) leader said. “So, many of the guests and members stayed put outside Jamia Masjid Hyderpora and later rallied towards the residence of Geelani.”
While the numbers of protestors grew and were on way to Tehreek-e-Hurriyat central office, ailing Geelani had reached main road taking everyone by surprise.
“Everyone was excited to see Geelani sahab among people and thus began sloganeering,” the leader said.
Hassan Zainagiree and academician Sheikh Showkat Hussain accompanied Geelani and the trio released the book in the main Hyderpora Chowk.
Speaking on the occasion, Geelani lashed out at the Ms Mehbooba Mufti led PDP-BJP government. “It is the worst form of state terrorism that a simple book releasing function is not being allowed.”
Taking a dig at Ms Mehbooba for her “Pigeon and Cat” statement he said, “this speaks of Ms Mehbooba Mufti’s mental slavery.”
CM Ms Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday had said that her government “won’t put pigeons in front of Cats” in Kashmir.
In her first speech as Leader of House in state legislature, CM Mehbooba Mufti was speaking about the return of Kashmiri Pandits and establishments of townships for them.
“The power has made her blind,” Geelani said condemning the statement, “Muslim Kashmiris have never touched rather ensured safety and security of Kashmiri Pandits who are part and parcel of our communal brotherhood.”
Geelani reminded Ms Mehbooba of 1947 massacre of Jammu Muslims, Kashmir massacres, saying, “Cats are those who killed and massacred Muslims of Jammu in 1947; are those who are responsible for countless massacres including Gawkadal, Kupwara, Handwara, Sopore, Vandhama, Hawal, Khanyar, Chattisinghpora, Bijbehara and countless other killings.”
“Role of Indian armed forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police is akin to that of cats Ms Mehbooba Mufti has talked about,” Geelani asserted, “it is they who have selectively killed and tortured Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir.”
The octogenarian Geelani said, “Ms Mufti is lost in the garb of power. To safeguard her chair, Ms Mufti can speak anything.”
Maintaining that people have no problem with grants being given to Kashmiri Pandits, Geelani said, “we will be happy when our Pandit brethren return home. We will welcome them and they must settle in their respective villages and towns.”
“Ms Mufti has termed Muslims across globe and particularly those living in J&K as cats which is most unfortunate,” he added. “Did she (CM Mehbooba Mufti) forget those who massacred Muslims of J&K?”
Geelani said, “the statement is disgusting and to be mourned.” “We respect and value Hindus, Sikhs living in Kashmir like our own families,” he said, “ask those who have not migrated from valley.”