Geelani calls for Kashmir protest after aide’s arrest
Srinagar/New Delhi: Miffed over arrest of his close aide and alleged financer, hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani called for staging protests tomorrow in Jammu and Kashmir, after which he left Srinagar for Delhi.
Ghulam Mohammed Bhat was arrested last week for his alleged involvement in hawala racket meant to finance anti-national activities in the Kashmir Valley and was brought to Delhi where he was remanded in police custody for 10 days.
Geelani, who is now fearing questioning in connection with the hawala racket, left for Delhi where he will be meeting officials of Pakistan High Commission and representatives of other embassies.
Delhi Police also has a case of sedition registered against him as well as writer Arundhati Roy and Delhi University professor S A R Gilani for their alleged anti-national speeches during a seminar here last year.
“Organised, but peaceful, protests should be held across the state after Friday prayers tomorrow against government’s policy,” Geelani said against the backdrop of Bhat’s arrest.
He claimed that his associate was tortured during interrogation without realising that Bhat had been admitted to hospital after he resisted his arrest and was discharged only on January 25.
The Hurriyat leader alleged that the Centre, through the state government and police, was targeting leaders of his Tehreek-e-Hurriyat and the hardline Hurriyat faction, and was trying to kill them.
Meanwhile, Bhat’s interrogation was on. Delhi Police, with the help of Kashmir Police, had arrested him on January 22 and allegedly recovered over Rs 21 lakh from him.
The sources privy to the interrogation did not rule out possibility of questioning Geelani as his role was also allegedly surfacing in the case.
Bhat was earlier arrested in 2008 in JK’s Udhampur district while returning to the valley with Rs 55 lakh alleged Hawala money concealed in a gas cylinder.