Kashmir's top leader rearrested after 2 weeks

Syed Ali Shah Geelani, a top leader, has been arrested again after being set free two weeks ago.

Kashmir's top leader rearrested after 2 weeks

World Bulletin / News Desk

Barely two weeks after his release from an eight-month house arrest, the top leader in Indian-occupied Kashmir, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, was on Saturday, again, put under house arrest.

"A dozen policemen arrived in couple of vehicles at around 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon and laid siege outside the gates of Geelani Sahib’s house," Tehreek-e-Hurriyat spokesperson Ayaz Akbar told Anadolu Agency.

"They informed us that they (police) had orders from their high command to restrict Geelani’s movement again," he added.

Geelani – an 85-year-old with a single kidney, a pacemaker and half a dozen other ailments – was put under house arrest from March 7 to October 29 when he was released after 236 days of confinement.

During the 17 days of his freedom, Geelani addressed four massive rallies across Kashmir urging people to remain steadfast in their political struggle against India for their right to self-determination.

He also campaigned for the boycott of the upcoming parliamentary and state assembly elections in IHK.

Geelani was scheduled to address on Sunday another rally in Palhalan town, one of the most pro-freedom and volatile places in Kashmir.

"All our rallies were peaceful and no untoward incident happened anywhere which the police could cite as the reason for this new arrest," Akbar insisted.

In an exclusive interview with AA after his release, Geelani had revealed his skepticism about his release and expected to be rearrested by Indian authorities anytime they felt like doing so.

"They wouldn't even accept that I was in illegal confinement – they would say that I am free. The last time as well, when I was released, the then police chief said I was not under any detention, that I was always free," Geelani told AA.

The police this time as well refused to accept that any restrictions had been put on Geelani’s movements.

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.

The two countries have fought three full-fledged wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- since partition in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.

Since 1989, Kashmiri resistance groups in IHK have been fighting for independence or unification with neighboring Pakistan.

More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict so far.

In his earlier interview with AA, Geelani recognized that pro-independence Kashmiris have neither military nor economic power to defeat India.

"We only have truth on our side; or rather we are on the side of truth. And history has shown that, between truth and power, at the end truth has always won."

Last Mod: 16 Kasım 2013, 17:12
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