Geelani calls for protest after aide`s arrest

Miffed over arrest of his close aide and alleged financer, hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani called for staging protests on Friday in Jammu and Kashmir, after which he left Srinagar for Delhi.

Last Updated: Jan 27, 2011, 18:14 PM IST

Srinagar/New Delhi: Miffed over arrest of
his close aide and alleged financer, hardline separatist
leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani called for staging protests
on Friday in Jammu and Kashmir, after which he left Srinagar
for Delhi.
Ghulam Mohammed Bhat was arrested last week for his
alleged involvement in hawala racket meant to finance
anti-national activities in the Kashmir Valley and was brought
to Delhi where he was remanded in police custody for 10 days.

Geelani, who is now fearing questioning in connection
with the hawala racket, left for Delhi where he will be
meeting officials of Pakistan High Commission and
representatives of other embassies.

Delhi Police also has a case of sedition registered
against him as well as writer Arundhati Roy and Delhi
University professor S A R Gilani for their alleged
anti-national speeches during a seminar here last year.

"Organised, but peaceful, protests should be held across
the state after Friday prayers tomorrow against government`s
policy," Geelani said against the backdrop of Bhat`s arrest.
He claimed that his associate was tortured during
interrogation without realising that Bhat had been admitted to
hospital after he resisted his arrest and was discharged only
on January 25.

The Hurriyat leader alleged that the Centre, through the
state government and police, was targeting leaders of his
Tehreek-e-Hurriyat and the hardline Hurriyat faction, and was
trying to kill them.

Meanwhile, Bhat`s interrogation was on. Delhi Police,
with the help of Kashmir Police, had arrested him on January
22 and allegedly recovered over Rs 21 lakh from him.

The sources privy to the interrogation did not rule out
possibility of questioning Geelani as his role was also
allegedly surfacing in the case.

Bhat was earlier arrested in 2008 in JK`s Udhampur
district while returning to the valley with Rs 55 lakh alleged
Hawala money concealed in a gas cylinder.

PTI