Hoisting of Pak flags in J&K: CM Mufti promises action against Geelani

Ahmedabad/Jammu, May 2: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed on Saturday promised action against those responsible for waving Pakistani flags at yesterday's rally addressed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani even as right wing Hindu organisations held a protest demanding the separatist leader's arrest.

The Chief Minister also rejected Geelani's demand to curtail the duration of the Amarnath Yatra to 30 days from the planned 59 days and said it will take place as scheduled.

Mufti promises action against Geelani

"Some people were involved in such activities. Action will be taken against those involved in such an act," Sayeed told journalists in Ahmedabad, recalling how separatist leader Masarat Alam Bhat, who had himself raised pro-Pakistan slogans and waved Pakistani flags at a rally attended by Geelani was put behind bars.

"When Masarat Alam was released, he had already spent five years under PSA (Public Safety Act). Then, I myself saw him with Pakistani flag. We then took immediate action (against Alam, who was again arrested)," Sayeed, who is on a visit to Gujarat to promote tourism in his state, said, adding "law will take its course".

[Pakistani flags again raised at Geelani's rally in Tral]

Pakistani flags again raised at Geelani's rally in Tral

At the April 15 rally Pakistani flags were waved by Geelani's supporters which led to filing of case against him, his close aide Masarat Alam Bhat and others on sedition and other charges. Bhat was arrested the next day and booked under the stringent Public Safety Act a week later.

At yesterday's rally, the first by him at militancy-hit Tral in south Kashmir, Geelani's had demanded restricting the Amarnath Yatra to 30 days keeping in mind the safety of pilgrims and protection of environment.

His supporters had chanted pro-Pakistan slogans and waved that country's national flag. The Mufti insisted that the yatra will be held as scheduled as "people of Jammu and Kashmir are in its favour."

The Chief Minister appeared to share the view of Geelani against creating exclusive townships for Kashmiri Pandits who wanted to return to the Valley when he spoke about the "culture of living together".

"They are part of our culture, a culture of living together. They had to leave (the Valley) in an atmosphere of militancy in 1990. In the past, we attempted to bring them back but did not succeed in our efforts," Sayeed said.

"Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also made such attempts. Those (displaced) three lakh Kashmiri Pandits are intellectuals and learned. They should come back. My Government will make all possible effort to bring them back," he said when asked about resettlement of Kashmiri Pandits.


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