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Family of officer Geelani named goes to say sorry, he snubs them

The police official could not be reached for a comment despite several attempts.

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar |
Updated: August 10, 2016 7:13:55 am
kashmir, kashmir police, kashmir protesters, kashmir forces, kashir security forces, geelani, syed geelani, hurriyat, kashmir news, india news Geelani had identified the sub-inspector posted in the area and called him a “butcher and criminal” for his alleged role in the crackdown. (Express Archive)

The family of a police officer named by Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani for allegedly “firing pellets on protesters” in south Kashmir last week visited his home to apologise on his behalf, sources said.

Geelani refused to meet the father and brother of the sub-inspector (name withheld) at his Hyderpora residence on Monday, and told them through aides to apologise to “victims” of Khanabal in Anantnag, sources said.

On August 6, hours after 40 people were injured in pellets fired by the police to control a crowd of protesters gathered for a “freedom rally” in Khanabal, Geelani had identified the sub-inspector posted in the area and called him a “butcher and criminal” for his alleged role in the crackdown.

“Without any provocation, he resorted to pellet-shelling, injuring dozens of people, including at least seven women, who received pellet injuries in their private parts. This criminal and butcher is warned that it is high time that rogues and killers like you should be brought to book. We cannot stop people from tackling you directly,” Geelani had said, in what was perhaps the first instance of a separatist leader pinning blame on an individual policeman and warning him.

Sources said Mir’s family members waited for close to an hour to meet Geelani.

Read: Separatists make it personal, name police officers

“Mir’s father and brother told us to inform Geelani-sahib that they wanted to apologise and will ask their son to resign from police. They sought a meeting, but Geelani-sahib refused to meet them. He told us to inform them that they should apologise to the people of Khanabal,” a Hurriyat leader said.

The police official could not be reached for a comment despite several attempts.

People in many areas of the Valley have also named police officers, and warned them of dire consequences, in the ongoing round of violence triggered by the killing of militant Burhan Wani on July 8. Fifty-six protesters have died so far and more than 4,000 injured, mostly from pellets.

This trend of naming and threatening police officials signals a departure from the past, when separatist leaders would denounce the police without naming anyone.

In Sopore town, warnings were issued to SP Harmeet Singh and other officers in the form of graffiti on roads. “Harmeet, a warning for you. Your death is our mission,” said a graffiti near Super Bazar in Sopore.

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Graffiti outside the house of Deputy SP Yasir Qadri, who has been blamed for the death of a youth at Tengpora in Srinagar, described him as “a murderer” and has the image of an arrow pointing at the location of his residence in Hazratbal.

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