Kashmir violence: Geelani appeals for peace

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Srinagar, Aug 5 (ANI): Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has made an appeal for peace in the Kashmir Valley asking people not to resort to violence by burning public property.

Addressing reporters at his residence here on Wednesday, Geelani said: "I appealed to the people not to burn police stations, rail tracks and public property. Violence will damage our fight and movement. It won't affect the people we are fighting against. It will affect us."

"The struggle has to be peaceful in all its forms. We should not provide the Government any opportunity to brand our movement is a wrong way," he added.

"We should take forward this movement in a peaceful manner. It should be peaceful. I would like (my message) to be acted upon in letter and spirit. We should march peacefully. When we are stopped (by security forces), we should sit down and ask them to shoot us", he said.

Geelani was released on Monday a day after being re-arrested from the premises of the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences where he was admitted while in custody.

Geelani also said that while he was in custody, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's political aide, Davinder Singh Rana, had met him and assured him of "political space".

"D S Rana met me and said that they (the government) would give me space to work for the cause I stand for," Geelani added.

Rana's visit to Geelani would be significant as direct engagement at this level is viewed as a major shift in State Government's policy to seek help of Hurriyat hardliners.

However, one more person was killed in police firing in the Bemina area last night, taking the toll in the latest spurt of violence to 28.

Two government buildings in Kupwara and Sopore were also set on fire by protesters.

Train services between Qazigund and Baramulla have been discontinued as protesters damaged railway tracks, signal equipment and buildings at the Sopore railway station. (ANI)

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