Violence, arson have no place in Kashmiri struggle: Geelani

August 4th, 2010 - 7:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Aug 4 (IANS) Stating that Kashmiris must be seen as the “oppressed and not as oppressors”, hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani Wednesday warned people against acts of arson and violence like stone pelting.
The chief of the hardline faction of Jammu and Kashmir’s Hurriyat Conference was addressing a press conference at his Hyderpora residence after being discharged from the hospital where he had been admitted for treatment.

“Violence and acts of arson have no place in our struggle against Indian rule,” Geelani said, 54 days since violence broke out in the Kashmir Valley leading to 45 people being killed in clashes with police personnel.

“We have to seriously introspect to decide who benefits through such acts. Although burning of government property and railway stations is a reaction against the atrocities committed by the security forces here, we must be seen as the oppressed and not as the oppressors,” Geelani said.

He also appealed to people to keep their protests and sit-ins completely peaceful. When confronted with security forces, protesters must squat on the ground and in no case resort to stone pelting, he said.

“When I was under detention at Chashma Shahi in Srinagar, some people called on me, including an advisor of the chief minister (Omar Abdullah). In his conversation he alluded to whether my struggle was for change of guard in the state.

“I told him plainly that it did not matter to us who was in power here as our struggle is against the Indian rule,” Geelani said.

Geelani reiterated that a dialogue with the Indian leadership was only possible once New Delhi accepted the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir and started withdrawal of troops from cities and towns.

“After that a tripartite dialogue between India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir can be held.”

Geelani was rearrested Tuesday as he tried to take out a march from the hospital in Srinagar, where he had been admitted, to the Eidgah grounds. He was informed Wednesday that he was being released.

He has called for protests and shutdowns till Saturday. The latest resistance programme issued by the group’s underground leader, Masrat Alam, asks locals to resume normalcy for a day Sunday to stock up on essentials.

There has been widespread violence in the valley since June 11 leading to an endless cycle of clashes and curfew. While 17 people were killed from June 11 to July 30, 27 have died in the last five days. Of the 45 killed, most have been killed in firing by security forces.

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