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Geelani justifies Kashmir Gun to counter Indian gun

Feb 03, 2007:

Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani here Saturday said gun had a role to play in Kashmir's insurgency as long as there was the presence of "occupying gun" of the Indian troops.

"There is the presence of the bigger occupying gun of India and its presence assures that the gun would continue to have a role here," said Geelani, who is considered the most consistent separatist voice in the Indian administered Kashmir.

The septuagenarian leader said that it is New Delhi not the hardline separatist Kashmiri leadership, which was thrusting a solution of Kashmir issue through gun.

"Is it sanity to have a presence of seven to 10 lakh occupational troops in a state, where even the Army and intelligence officers put the number of our Mujahideen at not more than 1,500?" Geelani asked reporters here at a crowded press conference.

Chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Confernece (APHC), an amalgam of various Kashmiri separatist outfits and the chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) Jammu and Kashmir said picking gun was a compulsion for the people of Kashmir to press for the resolution of the long-standing dispute.

"We even fought elections, which is otherwise the most democratic process. I remained in the state's legislative assembly (lower house) for 15 years. The candidates of the Muslim United Front (MUF) in favour of who people exercised their franchise in 1987 found themselves detained at the Heera Nagar Jail and instead puppets installed in the government chairs after the 1987 assembly polls," the pro-Pakistan Geelani said explaining how guns were thrust on Kashmiris.

Referring to the recent expose of the alleged fake-encounters in Kashmir, Geelani said when a bear was killed by people in south Kashmir for protecting themselves after the State Wildlife Department and the Police had failed to get it, people in India raised hue and cry but added that they had chosen to keep mum just for their "national interest" despite knowing that their troops were indulging in gravest of human rights violations.

"Custodial killings are the worst kind of state-sponsored terrorism," the Hurriyat hawk said.

Geelani also termed the moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq the "yes man" of Pakistan president Parvez Musharaff. When he was asked why Musharaff and Islamabad were not getting inclined to Mirwaiz, Geelani said it is for Musharaff to say but quickly added that Musharaff needed "yes men" like Mirwaiz.

While the press conference was on, scores of activists of Shiv Sena (Thakrey) led by Anan Sharma and Janta Party led by Som Nath Dabgotra burnt Geelani's effigy and after he came out of the Press Club Jammu, despite the presence of a large number of police officials tried to stop Geelani and barged into his vehicle kicking and hitting it with sticks before police dispersed them.


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