SRINAGAR: Chairman, Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Geelani was barred 48 times from offering Friday prayers in 2017, a spokesperson of the amalgam said.
In a statement, the spokesperson said Geelani could not attend Friday congregational prayers due to his continued house arrest.
He said Tehreek-e-Huriyat general secretary Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai also continued to remain under house detention for the third consecutive day on Friday. He said chief Hurriyat spokesperson Ghulam Ahmad Gulzar, Mohammad Yusuf Naqash, Mohammad Yasin Ataiee and Syed Imtiyaz Hyder were continuously lodged in different police stations.
Strongly condemning the house detention of Geelani and other resistance leaders, the Hurriyat spokesperson said the imprisonment of the amalgam’s leaders has no constitutional and moral justification and that “police is suppressing their peaceful voices just with the barrel of the gun”.
“Police has invented a new process of house arrests and banning of political activities of Geelani Sahib and other leaders during the 2010 mass uprising in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. “Since then, police never produced any legal justification for this illegal house arrest process and never explained under which Act or section of the law is Geelani being imprisoned in his house.”
The spokesperson said this “lawlessness” continued during the rule of Omar Abdullah and “now PDP government is following suit”.
“The PDP’s rhetoric about the ‘battle of ideas’ proved a hoax and they proved most opportunistic,” the Hurriyat spokesperson said. “Despite their tall claims about freedom of expression, they are chasing political leaders, strangulating genuine voices, curbing peaceful political activities and implicating and caging youth on fake allegations.”
The Hurriyat also slammed the PDP-led state government for “misusing” the Public Security Act (PSA). “Amnesty International has declared this law as a draconian and lawless law as authorities in Jammu and Kashmir are using the PSA to detain (their) political opponents on fabricated charges,” the Hurriyat spokesperson said. “Even an ordinary policeman and DC is authorised to slap PSA against anyone without taking into consideration ethics, law and the basic values of morality.”
Demanding the immediate release of all detainees, the Hurriyat spokesperson said “unnecessary” caging and curbing people and detaining resistance leaders and youth is the root cause of uncertainty in the state.
The Hurriyat warned New Delhi and its “henchmen” of “dire consequences”, saying they have to share the responsibility for the “negative results of their haughty approach against peaceful civilians and leadership”.