On the eve of his visit to Tral, where he was scheduled to hold a rally in protest of the killing of Khalid Muzaffar in an Army encounter, Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani has been placed under house arrest.
“Syed Ali Geelani has once again been house arrested, preventing him from visiting Tral tomorrow (Friday) where he was scheduled to address the people,” Hurriyat said in a statement. “A huge deployment of police has been made around his residence and a police vehicle stands blocking the main entrance gate,” it added.
The J&K Police has also decided not to allow anyone to move towards Tral on Friday. IGP, Kashmir, Javaid Mujtaba Gillani told The Indian Express: “We will take necessary measures.”
The move comes after the BJP told the PDP, its alliance partner in J&K, that the government should not allow the hardliner separatist to hold the rally in the South Kashmir town.
On Wednesday, when Geelani addressed a rally on his arrival in Srinagar from Delhi, his supporters waved Pakistani flags and shouted slogans of “azadi”. Soon after, the rally ended, police filed a case against Geelani and other separatist leaders, including Masarat Alam who was released recently.
Following the rally, the Union Home Ministry had asked the state government to take strict action against Geelani and other leaders for waving Pakistani flags.
Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh had told The Indian Express that government should not allow Geelani’s rally on Friday. BJP media incharge Altaf Thakur too had said that the state government will not allow Geelani to organise a rally when the BJP is holding its state-level convention at Katra. “And if Pakistani flags are waved again, then it will create a problem for us as all state BJP ministers, MLAs and some Union Ministers will be attending the BJP convention.’’
While announcing the rally, Geelani had asked his supporters from all parts of the Valley to reach Tral where he will express condolences to the family of the slain youth and will address a rally after the Friday prayers. Hurriyat had, however, had said on Thursday that they were not planning to hold any rally.