Hurriyat drops plans to protest

Hurriyat had called masses to stage protest march to Army and other forces camps on Sept 21.

Last Updated: Sep 17, 2010, 21:33 PM IST

Srinagar: Hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Friday dropped plans to stage protest marches to Army and other security forces camps here on September 21.

"There has been a modification in the protest schedule. People have been asked not to march to the army and other forces camps on September 21," Hurriyat Spokesman Ayaz Akbar told a news agency.

Akbar said the decision was taken as there were "genuine apprehension" that the authorities will take strong action against the protesters.

"However, people will continue to protest in their localities and villages across the Valley. Petitions and memoranda will be hosted on social networking sites like Facebook to urge the Army and other forces to leave the state on humanitarian grounds," he said.

Geelani had yesterday said the proposed protest march would be peaceful and there were no plans to attack the security forces` camps.

"We only want to tell the forces that they will have to leave this land one day. The elders of the respective areas will lead the marches and hand over memoranda to the Army personnel in this regard," he said.

Taking strong note of the Geelani`s protest programme, the army had asked people to ignore the call given by him.
"The Army makes a sincere appeal to people to avoid being misled by the Hurriyat leaders and avoid confronting army garrisons or vehicles," Defence spokesman Lt Colonel JS Brar said yesterday.

The Army had also asked the Hurriyat Conference to withdraw the protest to prevent loss of life and property.

The Army appeal came a day after top security and civil officials met here to devise a strategy to tackle the separatist programme for September 21.

As part of the strategy, Army personnel have been deployed in several areas around their camps to act as buffers between any mobs and the installations.

PTI