Kashmiri separatists on Tuesday came out in support of former Delhi University professor S A R Geelani who has been arrested over alleged anti-India statements, saying the action amounts to “muzzling the freedom of expression”.
Hardline Hurriyat Conference chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani also opposed the arrest of JNU Students Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar in connection with alleged anti-India sloganeering.
“This detention has no constitutional and legal justification and it is an act of muzzling the freedom of expression,” he said about the arrest of S A R Geelani.
Demanding immediate release of Geelani and Kanhaiya, the Hurriyat leader said, “The secular and democratic claims of India are badly exposed day by day and this country is on its way to become an extremely intolerant Hindu Rashtra.”
He also termed as “baseless and ridiculous” the comment by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh linking the JNU event with Pakistan and Hafiz Sayeed.
Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said, “Geelani’s arrest is against democratic principles and reflects dictatorial politics.”
JKLF leader Yasin Malik said, “This (Geelani’s arrest) is a glaring example of dictatorship under the garb of democracy.”
Controversial Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid also jumped into the row, saying “I thank and salute the students and scholars of JNU for raising their voice against the hanging of (Parliament attack convict Afzal) Guru. Hats off to them.”
He added, “Unfortunately, BJP and Congress are trying to use it for political gains and are giving it a political colour. It is an ideological war and battle of ideas, not a battle between BJP and Congress.”
Rashid said “if the students of JNU are anti-national, then why is BJP trying to ally with the PDP” whose MLAs “had endorsed my stand on Guru on eve of seeking my support for Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council elections last year”.
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