DETAINED AGAIN, PROCLAIMED AS ‘FREE MAN’
Srinagar, Mar 25: During the visit of an Amnesty International member to the residence of chairman Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Friday, the police was taken off guard as they could not spell out why the separatist leader was put under house arrest without serving any official order.
The AI member asked the police to show the formal order under which Geelani was not allowed to move outside his house. However, the policemen posted outside the house said they had served no order but were ‘following the order of their superiors.’
“Mr Geelani told me he was under arbitrary arrest,” the AI South Asian member, Bikramjeet Batra, said. “I told him under what proceedings or grounds he was detained. He said there was no formal order served to him by the authorities restricting his movement.”
Batra was told by Geelani that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has publicly issued a statement that he was a “free man.”
“When we left, Geelani was accompanying me,” Batra said. “I asked policemen deployed there why not were they allowing the leader to move. They told me that Mr. Geelani would not be allowed to move outside the house. I demanded grounds or official order for the house arrest. I was told to call the superior officer.”
Batra said he later spoke to SP Budgam, Uttam Chand, who told him there were no orders issued to keep Geelani under house arrest.
“I told him why the police truck and ten armed policemen were blocking the entrance of Geelani’s residence,” he said. “Later I requested him to pass on the order to juniors to allow the leader to move,” he said.
Batra said it was obvious that Geelani was released since the authorities were not willing the AI to know about the real situation.
“The 10 armed men restricting his movement and no official order for his house detention clearly depicts the situation right now prevailing in Kashmir,” he said.
Batra said Amnesty International would take a serious note of 150 days house detention of the separatist leader without any formal order or pending FIR against him.
In the meanwhile, Geelani along with some of his party members boarded a car and left the house to meet the family of detained Hurriyat (G) leader, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, at Baghat.
SP Budgam, Uttam Chand, said Geelani was a free man. “We have not put him under house arrest at all,” he said.
As Geelani moved ahead, three police vehicles followed him. They remained outside till Geelani left Sehrai’s residence and went back to his house. A Hurriyat spokesman said Geelani was put under house arrest again after his return.
Meanwhile, during his meeting with the AI member, Geelani lauded their recent report, ‘A Lawless Law- Detentions under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act.’ He said the report was impartial, but added that it was not the lone human rights violation taking place in the state.
“There are many other HR violations which need to be reported,” Geelani told AI. “I appeal Amnesty to prepare similar reports on custodial killings, torture and disappeared people.”
Geelani told AI that world community should take a serious note to stop the HR violation in Kashmir. “India is fighting for a permanent seat in United Nation Security Council. But they do not deserve it since they are involved in war crimes and serious HR violations in Kashmir. The Indian troops are in an illegal occupation of the state and in no way international community should ever think that it should become permanent member of UN,” he said.
The separatist leader said not a single FIR has been lodged against police officers involved in the killing of 116 people during the summer unrest of 2010. He stressed that Amnesty should take note of this.
“The prisoners are being shifted to Jammu jails despite Supreme Court rulings that they should be lodged in the nearby prisons,” Geelani told Batra. “There prisoners do not get proper medical aid. Many leaders are suffering from diseases as no medicine is being provided to them. The jail officials mistreat prisoners since they treat them on communal basis.”
In other engagements, the AI met family of detained Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association Chairman, Mian Abdul Qayoom. They also met the family of Tufail Matoo who was killed in police shelling in June 2010 and families of some PSA detainees in Saidakadal.
In its report on PSA released here last Monday, the AI termed it a “lawless law” calling for its immediate repeal. The report created furore in the state Assembly, which is in its Budget session, forcing the Chief Minister to come up with a statement that his Government would study the report and act on it.
Publish Date: 25-03-11 6:53 PM
DETAINED AGAIN, PROCLAIMED AS ‘FREE MAN’