Hours after Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani addressed a public rally here, accompanied by his supporters including separatist leader Masarat Alam — who made his first public appearance on Wednesday after his release last month — the Jammu and Kashmir Police filed a case against them under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for “provocative activities and hoisting of Pakistani flags”.
Police said Geelani, Alam and Peer Saifullah have been booked under Section 13 of UAPA and Sections 120-B, 147, 341, 336 and 427 of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC).
Earlier in the day, Geelani arrived to a rousing reception in Srinagar, after spending over three months in Delhi. He was taken from the airport to his Hyderpora residence in a procession led by Alam. At Hyderpora, Geelani addressed a public rally — his first since December 2013 — as the crowd waved Pakistan flags and shouted slogans of “Azadi”.
After Geelani’s speech, a large section of the youth raised slogans in favour of Alam, asking him to take the stage. Alam then raised the slogan, “Kashmir banega”. As the youth responded with cries of “Pakistan”, Alam shouted, “Jeevay, Jeevay Pakistan (long live Pakistan)”.
PTI quoted Alam as telling mediapersons that he was not indulging in unlawful activities. “We are only promoting the aspirations of the people of Kashmir. Look at their enthusiasm,” he was quoted as saying.
In his speech, Geelani reiterated that the Hurriyat would only accept the right to self determination as the solution to the Kashmir issue. “This (Kashmir) is not an issue of a border between India and Pakistan. This is an issue of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, whether they are Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs or Christians,” he said.
He warned the government against setting up exclusive colonies for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits. “They are our brothers, sisters and mothers. Our hearts are open for them. Let them return to their villages and live comfortably,” said Geelani. “India has announced Rs 20 lakh for them to build their houses… Give them Rs 30 lakh but let them stay in their own villages. They are our brothers and we wouldn’t like a separate home for them,” he said.
Claiming that the RSS planned to change the culture of the state, he said: “We have to keep a watch on them. We will be organising a seminar to make people aware of RSS policy”. Stating that he would continue the “struggle for freedom”, Geelani ended his speech with slogans of Azadi.
Geelani last addressed a public rally in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district in December 2013, following which he was put under house arrest by the government.
Meanwhile, the BJP reacted sharply to today’s rally, with Minister of State for Home Kiran Rijiju saying that the state government had been asked to act against those who had broken the law.