Geelani Calls Mahbooba’s Bluff, Says Give Up Seat27 April 2010
Srinagar: Describing the PDP as a creation of the Congress, the chairman of the Hurriyat (G), Syed Ali Shah Geelani, on Tuesday asked the party to shun its pro-India stance and join the separatists if it was genuinely concerned about the wellbeing of Kashmiris. At a large rally in Shopian after noon prayers, Geelani castigated the National Conference for being the “main culprit” in strengthening India’s roots in Kashmir, and announced legal aid for those convicted in the Lajpat Nagar blast case. Geelani’s speech came a day after the PDP president, Mahbooba Mufti, invited separatists to join hands with her party for the resolution of the Kashmir issue. Addressing the rally in the town’s main square, Geelani flayed the government for its failure to identify the personnel involved in the alleged rape and murder of Aasiya and Neelofar, saying that the culprits were being shielded under the pretext of national interest. Geelani severely condemned the killing of civilians in Keller and Handwara by the security forces, and said that such incidents would continue till Indian troops remained on Kashmiri soil. Commenting on the army chief remarks ruling out repeal or amendment to the AFSPA, Geelani said that such statements reflected that the general was “drunk with power.” Geelani targeted the PDP, saying that the party was crying itself hoarse on human rights violations and excesses by the troops today when it had not bothered to raise its voice against such abuses during its rule. “The PDP is playing vote bank politics by such emotional slogans, and Monday’s protests in Srinagar are a part of the same game plan,’ he said. “If the PDP is really concerned about the pain and suffering of Kashmiris, it must immediately resign from the assembly and join the separatists for the right of self determination,” he said. Flaying the recently passed inter-district recruitment (ban) bill, Geelani said that reserving 8 per cent seats for the scheduled caste category was a usurpation of the rights of Kashmiri youth. “One the one hand, the state houses ten lakh troops and lakhs of Bihari labourers, and on the other, outsiders are being granted state subject certificates, particularly in the Jammu region. This is a sinister conspiracy to alter the demographic character of the state,’ he said.