Eighteen days after his release at the end of a long spell of detention at his home here, separatist hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani is under ‘house arrest’ once again.

An order issued by the Srinagar District Magistrate under Section 144 of the Cr. PC said Mr. Geelani would remain indoors for the day on November 17 and would not move out to attend a scheduled rally at Palhalan village in Baramulla district on Sunday.

“We apprehended a law and problem there [Palhalan] on Sunday. He will be free on Monday,” Inspector General of Police Abdul Gani Mir told The Hindu.

However, political circles were critical of Mr. Geelani’s detention. It showed Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s frustration, they said. The “massive response” to the Hurriyat leader’s rallies was worrying the ruling National Conference leadership.

In the last 18 days, Mr. Geelani had addressed well-attended rallies at Sopore, Shopian and Kupwara. Buoyed by the attendance, he planned similar rallies at Palhalan on November 17 and one at Banihal on November 22.

The slogans raised at the rallies have been viewed as “provocative and explicitly anti-national” by some political parties and sections of the police and security forces.

He was released from his 235-day-long house arrest on October 29. He had immediately sought revival of the secessionist uprising and “total boycott of next year’s Parliamentary and Assembly elections.”

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