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 Jammu and Kashmir Police chief says Geelani, Mirwaiz, Malik free, but with a rider: ‘don’t make anti-national speeches’


Jammu and Kashmir Police chief says Geelani, Mirwaiz, Malik free, but with a rider: ‘don’t make anti-national speeches’

Last Updated on : 30 Mar,2018 | Source : Universal News Timeline

For close to two years, they have been forbidden to come out of their homes, and on occasions been put behind bars, but the police now say they are free to go anywhere they like. This freedom though will come for a price: they can’t make an “anti-national” speech or create “a law and order problem.”

S. P. Vaid, the head of the state police, on Thursday said that Syed Ali Geelani, Mohammad Yasin Malik, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the three leaders of Joint Resistance Leadership, are “free to  carry out their political and social activities.” “But they have to take the responsibility of not creating any law and order problem. They have to also refrain from making anti-national speeches,” he said.
In recent days, the government had begun to show signs of easing coercive force against the separatist leadership. A few days back, Mohammad Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq were given permission to visit the home of Syed Ali Geelani, where the three had a long discussion after many months of silence. 

A separatist leader who was wary of the government’s decision said that New Delhi has somehow realised that the policies of coercion and choking the space had deteriorated the things in Kashmir. “It seems that Delhi has understood the ground realities in Kashmir. It looks like a move aimed at testing waters,” he said.

From Dineshwar Sharma, the Indian government’s special representative for talks, to Rajiv Gauba, the Union Home Secretary, both have in recent days expressed their concern about the trend of local boys joining the ranks of guerrilla outfits in Kashmir. Sharma called it “disturbing.”

Vaid said that Geelani is free to offer Friday prayers anywhere he wishes to and whether the police would remove the security vehicle outside Geelani’s Hyderpora residence or not hardly matters now. “Similarly, Mirwaiz and Yasin too are free to move on their choice. The credit for this decision goes to the government,” he said.

He said the police will gradually do away with the practice of imposing curbs and cutting off the internet. “In this modern era, we can’t deprive people including school and college children from their right to access the internet,” said Vaid.

The largescale protest demonstrations fuelled by the killing of the Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July 2016 was only stifled after the government imprisoned the leadership and used inordinate force on the protestors to win back control in the Kashmir valley.

In weeks to come the government would watch with a mix of interest and dread how its decision to free the leadership will impact the feeling of anger and resentment in the Kashmir valley.

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