We are not against yatra: Geelani

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Srinagar, Jul 2 (UNI) Appealing to people of Jammu to foil the evil purpose of communal forces who wanted to divide people for their political gains, Chairman of the breakaway Hurriyat Conference (HC) Syed Ali Shah Geelani today said Kashmiris are not against pilgrims or yatra.

''I appeal to Dogras, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslim of Jammu region to maintain communal harmony and frustrate the forces who wanted to communalise the situation by spreading false rumours,'' Mr Geelani told mediapersons at Rajbagh headquarters.

He said a number of the people were against the forces who wanted to divide the people on religion basis for their votes.

He also asked the Muslims, living in different parts of Jammu region not to get provoked by the slogans and other actions of communal forces.

He said besides the common men, the people of entire Kashmir valley were behind the Muslims of Jammu who were facing threat from these forces.

Mr Geelani said the nine-day peaceful demonstrations against the transfer of forest land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) was being projected by the Bharatiya Janata Party and other communal parties as if the Muslims were against the Amarnath pilgrimage.

''We are not against the yatra or yatris,'' he said, adding that in fact during the nine-day strike when everything was closed, Kashmiris organised langers and provided pilgrims free accommodation.

He said, ''some parties have launched a disinformation campaign that we did not allow yatra, which is totally unfounded and mischieves.'' The Chairman said no Kashmiri would ever dream of opposing the yatra as people here believed in communal harmony and brotherhood.

However, he said, they had objections on the duration of the yatra as it was one week in the past and later it was extended to 15 days and now two months which was not justified.

''We believe in humanity,'' he said and expressed concern over the agitation being launched by the BJP and others against the people of Kashmir.

He said the move of the BJP for their vote politics was very dangerous for the entire country.

Mr Geelani further said the people of the Kashmir valley launched an agitation against the land transfer.

But it was not a question of just 800 kanals, but there was about 8 lakh kanals under the occupation of the security forces in the entire state, he said, adding that the state land was being transferred to schools being built under Army's operation Sadbhavana.

He alleged that our land, women, youths and buildings were not safe in the state. If the land was vacated by the security forces, not only people of the valley, but Jammu owners would also get benefit, Mr Geelani added.

UNI BAS ASM SW AS1617

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