Geelani heckled by pro-India protesters

A shoe was thrown towards hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in Delhi today.

New Delhi: A shoe was thrown at hardline
Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani at a function where
Kashmiri separatists as well as Naxal and Khalistan
sympathisers came together today under one platform to air
their grievances.

Geelani was here to take part in a seminar ‘Azadi the Only Way’, that is said to have been organised by pro-azadi student groups in the national capital at the LTG auditorium.

As per reports, as a prelude to Geelani’s speech, pro-azadi students raised pro-separatists slogans, which led to the Pandits also raising anti-Geelani and pro-India slogans.

Though Geelani was yet to speak, the protesters numbering
around 70 shouted slogans asking him to leave.

Amid the pandemonium, someone threw a shoe towards
Geelani on the dais but it missed him. There was complete chaos in the auditorium before the police rushed in and moved the Pandits out of the premises.

The protestors, shouting slogans like `Bharat Mata Ki
Jai` and `Vande Mataram`, created ruckus at the convention on
`Azaadi -- The Only Way` which was being attended by a number
of sympathisers of Kashmiri separatists and Naxals.

A human chain was immediately thrown around him on the
dais by the security personnel and organisers to protect the
leaders on the dais.

The Pandits are said to be members of the Panun Kashmir Movement (PVM) which is a movement fighting for the political rights of Kashmiri Pandits, in their birth land.

Protesters were literally dragged out and the situation
had become tense.

At the time of the protest, S A R Geelani, a lecturer who
was accused in the Parliament attack case but later set free,
was speaking on the topic.

Geelani, however, remained calm and smiled occasionally.

Once the protestors were taken away, things were normal
for a while.

Some of the protestors, who had managed to stay behind,
again started shouting as known Naxal sympathiser Vara Vara
Rao said people fighting for rights in central India, in an
apparent reference to Maoists, are bound in solidarity with
stone-pelting Kashmiri youngsters.

The situation became tense when noted author Arundati
Roy began her speech.

Roy called India a "very hollow super-power" since 830
million people live on less than Rs 20 here.

She compared the protests in the Kashmir to the Naxals
operating in central India and to even the `Narmada Bachao
Andolan`. Roy said people everywhere are fighting for their
rights.

"Bows and arrows in adivasi`s hand and stones in the
hands of the Kashmiri youngsters are essential but we need
more," she said.

Roy said everyone needs to come together and have a
feeling of oneness.

"We should not feel that I should get my rights and
it is ok if the person next to me does not get his or her
right."

Roy`s initial comments about Kashmiri Pandits led to a
hue and cry as about 10-odd protestors tried to shout her
down.

Things finally settled after CRPF personnel, who were
called in after the first round of protests, along with Delhi
Police took them out, a move which was greeted by a thunderous
applause from those present.

Other speakers included those who spoke in favour of
Khalistan and on the problems in the North-East.

One of the speakers even said that though "we have lost
the battle, our dream of a Khalistan still remains".

-PTI

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