Geelani demands release of prisoners before Eid

August 19th, 2011 - 11:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Aug 19 (IANS) Hardline Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani Friday threatened another stir if the arrested political prisoners and youth were not released by the government before Eid.

Geelani, who was placed under house arrest by the police following his decision to lead a march to the martyrs’ graveyard in old city Eidgah area after the Friday prayers, addressed a media conference at his uptown Hyderpora residence in the evening.

“The government must be ready to face another stir if arrested political prisoners and youth are not released before Eid,” Geelani warned.

Geelani sought the support of local traders and businessman to make his proposed agitational programme a success.

Geelani and two other separatist leaders, Shabir Shah, chairman of the Democratic Freedom Party, and Nayeem Khan, chief of the National Front, were placed under house arrest by the police in summer capital Srinagar Friday to maintain law and order.

The Valley has been witnessing a peaceful summer this year after two consecutive years of summer unrest during 2009 and 2010.

In last year’s summer violence, 116 people had died in bloody clashes between the security forces and unruly mobs resorting to massive violence and arson across the Valley.

Kashmir also went through an unprecedented period of protest shutdowns and bandhs in 2010 that virtually paralyzed the local economy and adversely affected the education of children.

Faced with the growing economic and educational crisis, Geelani had withdrawn his agitational programme in 2010 asking people to resume normal activities.

The state government had blamed the separatists for hostaging both the local economy and the education of students by calling for continued protests and shutdowns here during 2009 and 2010.

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