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House arrests, restrictions come under severe criticism from separatists
SRINAGAR, July 5: The state government’s move to continuously put senior separatist leaders under house arrest and impose restrictions on their movement has come under severe criticism from the separatist camp.

The separatist leaders have described the government act as an attempt to widen the gulf between “recognized leadership of Kashmiris and the suppressed people.”

A spokesman of Hurriyat (G) said chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani continued to be under house arrest today. “Since March 7 when he returned from New Delhi he was not allowed congregational Friday prayers for the 18th time today. This is highly condemnable,” he said.

The spokesman stated that the state high court reserved its decision on June 1 regarding a case related to house arrest of Geelani. Even after 35 days the decision is yet to be made public. “A responsible political leader is being deprived of justice and continuously kept in illegal confinement,” he said.

The spokesman stated that it was the 115th consecutive day of detention for Geelani today and during this period he was not allowed outside his residence even for once nor was he permitted to offer prayers in a mosque. Hurriyat (G) chairman was taken for medical checkup thrice and that too in police custody and he was being followed by intelligence officials, he alleged.

“During this detention period neither any court order about his arrest was presented nor any order from civil administration was handed over. Police continues to stop him on gun point and a total ban has been imposed on his political, social and religious activities. Cops are deployed round the clock at his residence who question every person going inside,” the spokesman said. He alleged that there is no constitutional, legal or moral justification for such an act by government.

“After the public movement of 2010, the government decided to imprison Geelani sahab permanently. However, instead of keeping him in prison, his residence was converted into a jail so that the outside world does not take any notes and raise a voice,” he said.

The spokesman claimed that it has been proved now that Omar Abdullah is the weakest chief minister and during his time Geelani was not given any political space. All legal and state constitutional norms were thrown to the wind. “The imprisonment of 84 year old, ailing leader for last three and a half years is a blot on Omar government and it proved that he is unable to fight him politically and that he is not bothered about his health,” he said.

In his statement, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman Hurriyat Conference (M), alleged that state government is desperately trying to widen the gap between separatists and common people. “On one hand we are being stopped from performing our important religious obligation and on the other our peaceful political activities are being disallowed,” he said.

Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) has also condemned the house arrest of separatist leaders including Shabir Ahmad Shah. “Heavy deployment of police and para-military forces has been made around Shah’s residence, which has been converted into a prison. During last two and a half years, DFP chairman was arrested or placed under house arrest for 13 months and six days. He could offer Friday prayers hardly offer prayers 14 times in mosques during the period,” said a spokesman of the party.

JKLF has also condemned the continuous house arrest of its chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik. Its spokesman said Malik is unwell and has been confined to a narrow room in his house.

News Updated at : Friday, July 5, 2013
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