Srinagar: Government forces barred the entry of participants to a seminar scheduled at the Hyderpora residence of Syed Ali Geelani on Saturday.
The joint resistance leadership (JRL) was expected to speak at the seminar on the “criminal silence of the world community” on human rights’ violations in Kashmir.
The JRL comprising Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik had called the seminar – “Human Rights Violations in Kashmir and Criminal Silence of World Community” – at the residence of Geelani at 10:30am.
“There was huge deployment of police and paramilitary at Rehmatabad Hyderpora, where the road leading to the seminar venue had been blocked,” an activist of the Geelani-led Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) told Kashmir Reader.
“Many people had come but were sent back by the cops,” the activist said. “Police checked identity cards of all those who entered the lane going towards the venue. Even vehicles on the road were checked, as police told us they had orders from seniors to not allow anyone inside.”
While Geelani remains under house arrest at his Hyderopra residence, the Mirwaiz was detained at his Nigeen residence on Thursday evening to prevent him from speaking at the seminar. Yasin Malik went into hiding on Thursday to evade arrest.
The TeH member added that the government had detained several Hurriyat Conference activists. “Geelani’s deputy Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai was detained in his Baghat residence while many others, including Syed Imtiyaz Hyder, Mohammad Yaseen Attai and Mohammad Yousuf Bhat, were arrested on Thursday evening in Budgam,” he said.
“We had made all preparations for the seminar but no proceeding could be held,” he said.
Interestingly, Geelani was recently allowed to hold two seminars in a row, in which the Mirwaiz was present in one and Malik at both. “We could not understand why this seminar was banned, especially when many Hurriyat leaders and activists were under detention,” the TeH member said.
Geelani’s Hyderpora residence is under constant surveillance and guard, with two vehicles and at least a dozen forces personnel always deployed outside the main gate.
On one vehicle are installed 360-degree rotating cameras and all those who visit the house are first checked by the cops stationed outside.
“The landline number of Geelani’s office was snapped last year and has not been restored yet. His two cellphone numbers are not working,” another TeH activist informed.