A day after posters appeared in Sopore town calling Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani a Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) agent and warning people against participating in programmes organised by separatist leaders, the Hurriyat on Saturday organised a protest rally in the town.
Hinting that the posters were the handiwork of “Indian agencies”, Hurriyat leader Ameer Hamza said, “First they called him the agent of Pakistan. Now they call him a RAW agent.”
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“Let me tell them, to the people ready to die (militants) as well, he is the same Geelani sahib who didn’t hesitate to leave Hurriyat when some people fielded proxy candidates in the elections. It was Geelani sahib who stood like a rock during the dialogue process with India. He is the Geelani sahib, who stood up to (Pervez) Musharraf when he tried to agree on a status quo,” Hamza told an Eid congregation at Sopore’s grand mosque.
The posters had been discovered in Sopore town on Friday. Pasted in the name of Lashkar-e-Islam, they were accompanied by “evidence” — a copy of a “letter of appreciation” sent by “R&AW to Geelani”.
The “letter of appreciation” is believed to have been posted on Facebook as a prank after Geelani opposed and condemned threats to mobile operators in north Kashmir, especially Sopore town.
On Saturday, Hamza led a massive rally in Sopore that culminated in fierce clashes between police and stone-pelting protesters.
Police fired dozens of teargas shells to disperse the protesters.
During the rally, masked young men waved flags of Pakistan and Geelani’s Tehreek-e-Hurriyat and raised pro-Pakistan and pro-freedom slogans.