Over 1400 J

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New Delhi, Apr 1 (UNI) Breakaway Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani has said more than 1400 political prisoners from Jammu and Kashmir were languishing in various jails in the country ''not for committing any crime but demanding the right to self-determination'' of the people of the troubled state.

Speaking at the two-day conference for the release of political prisoners here, he said a majority of these detainees, numbering 460, were lodged in Srinagar Central Jail followed by 175 in Tihar, 140 in Jodhpur jail, 95 in Udhampur and so on.

Mr Geelani said the political prisoners of Jammu and Kashmir have been lodged in faraway jails of the country such as Ranchi, Agra, Varanasi, Bangalore and Kolkatta.

He said the United Nations Resolution on Kashmir specified that the people of the state have the right to self-determination to decide their future.

''Even the Government of India has recognised Kashmir as an issue and gave special status to the state under the Indian Constitution (Article 370),'' the firebrand leader claimed.

He alleged that the ''maximum concentration'' of armed forces was being witnessed in Jammu and Kashmir.

''There is a state terrorism going on in Jammu and Kashmir.

The people are being targetted and subjected to repression of various kinds,'' Mr Geelani added.

The separatist leader said the slogans such as nationalism, unity, integrity, nation-state were being ''misused'' to deny the people the ''fundamental'' right of determining their fate.

Mr Geelani alleged that two sets of governance were being practised in the country by ''targeting and isolating'' the minorities for political ends, citing the 2002 Gujarat riots as an example.


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