After remaining incommunicado for some time, it was ruling party MP Ghulam Nabi Ratanpuri who broke the ice on Sunday and met the ailing separatist and chairman Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah in New Delhi’s Malwiya Nagar residence where he has been put under house arrest by Delhi police.
“As I stepped in, probably he saw me coming. He was there on first floor of his house and came down to his doorsteps to meet me,” Ratanpuri told Kashmir Life.
Ratanpuri, who was described as “small time broadcaster” by his party colleague recently, said that he talked to Geelani from nearly six feet distance. “As Delhi Police saw me coming, Geelani Sahab told them to allow me to meet him. I was not allowed to enter the house, in spite of revealing my identity as MP to police officials on duty there,” he said. He said he tried to contact Delhi Police Commissioner for seeking the permission for a detailed meeting, but his messages were not responded.
“He is of my mother’s age, so he deserves respect and care,” NC lawmaker from Pulwama said. MP said that due to vigilance of cops in Geelani’s residence, he couldn’t talk to him about any issue. “I could only manage to talk about his health. But I am doubtful whether he is at the best of his health or not.”
Of late, Ratanpuri is trying to distinguish himself in the mainstream camp by either making “controversial” statements or actions. He recently garnered much media attention when he dispatched a letter to PM Manmohan Singh in which he had stated that “If given a chance, Kashmiris will opt for Azadi.” He even protested over Afzal Guru’s execution in the parliament when the President was speaking to a joint session.
“After sixty five minutes, I left the place. Before leaving I again enquired about his health,” he said.
Pertinently, Geelani continues to be under house arrest in New Delhi for past 15 days. His family members told media that he has been held incommunicado with the police authorities having put additional restrictions on him. He lacks access to telephone, they alleged.