Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani was on Sunday detained by police for making a “provocative” speech, minutes after he gave a call for a bandh in Kashmir on Monday against the killing of two youths in Kupwara district.

Police said the 80-year-old separatist leader was detained as a “preventive measure” after he addressed a religious gathering in Salkote area of Kupwara, 120 km from Srinagar.

“His (Geelani’s) statements during the address seemed to be provocative and we feared it might prompt violence. So as a preventive measure, we detained him to avoid law and order problem,” Senior Superintendent of Police, Kupwara, Uttam Chand said.

Mr. Geelani and the Hurriyat’s moderate faction headed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq had given separate calls for Kashmir bandh on Monday.

Violence broke out in various parts of old city this morning during the funeral procession of 25-year-old Mohammad Rafiq Bangroo who succumbed to injuries on Tuesday night after being allegedly beaten up by the CRPF personnel on June 12.

Hurriyat Conference spokesman Ayaz Akbar, however, termed as “baseless” police’s charge that Mr. Geelani had made a provocative speech.

“It was a peaceful religious gathering. His speech wasn’t provocative at all. These allegations are totally baseless,” he claimed.


Kashmir shuts down to protest killingsJune 21, 2010