Geelani faces arrest after calls for Kashmir Bandh on Jun 11

Posted By: Biswajeet Panda
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Syed Ali Shah Geelani
Srinagar, Jun 6: The month of June is usually one of the hottest ones for Indian states, but for the Kashmiris, it has off-late become synonymous with violence and crisis. In yet another perpetration of Kashmir's June jinx, the shadow of a mass protest and violence looms large over the valley. And this time again, it is Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the man who has managed to single-handedly disturb many peaceful days in the valley, who is at the eye of the storm.

Geelani, who is one of the very few separatist voices in Kashmir, has appealed to the common masses, traders and student community to observe a complete shutdown on June 11.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting of all Hurriyat constituents on Jun 5, Geelani said, “June 11 will be observed as commemorative day for all those 300 people who laid their lives in a peaceful struggle since 2008. Those who died in 2010 are out national heroes and people should visit their graves and pay tributes to the martyrs…the shutdown will be observed also to force the state government to lodge cases against the security forces involved in the killings and release all Hurriyat leaders and supporters put behind the bars."

Meanwhile, the state government has taken preventive measures to ensure that Geelani doesn't create a violent atmosphere in the state. A Kupwara sessions judge issued a non-bailable warrant against the separatist leader on Jun 5 in a 1985 case under Section 153 (A), which is provoking public sentiment.

Later, the Hurriyat executive council in a joint statement said, “Atmosphere of uncertainty will continue here till India forcefully holds on Kashmir through security forces. Which way the situation can turn cannot be predicted."

It also added, “Hurriyat aspires for a peaceful solution to the Kashmir dispute but unfortunately a peaceful struggle is being crushed with brute force by the state. Kashmiris are left with no option but to resort of general shutdown protest."

The Omar Abdullah government has also been quick to swing in to action and has booked more than 5,000 people, who participated in the 2010 protests. Even social networking sites have reportedly been put under the scanner to ensure that any public mobilisation doesn't happen.

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