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Updated: October 23, 2010 00:53 IST

Police will act on Geelani's speech: Chidambaram

Vinay Kumar
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Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram at a press conference in New Delhi. File Photo
Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram at a press conference in New Delhi. File Photo

Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday rejected BJP leader Arun Jaitley's charge that the Union government has abdicated its duty to protect the country's unity and integrity by allowing a seminar here on Thursday in which anti-India voices were raised. He said the police would take action in accordance with law over the speeches made by hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and others.

“I strongly reject Arun Jaitley's charge that the Centre was doing nothing when a seminar was held on Thursday in which Syed Ali Shah Geelani and others participated,'' Mr. Chidambaram said in a statement.

The Minister said the authorities had videographed the entire seminar and submitted them to legal advisers for their opinion whether law was volated. “If it is established prima facie that the laws have been violated, the Delhi Police will take action in accordance with the law.''

Mr. Chidambaram's reaction came within hours of Mr. Jaitley's statement.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha accused the government of “looking the other way'' when a number of separatist groups met at a convention on Kashmir to say that India cannot be one and must be broken.

Mr. Jaitley said:

“It is dismaying to note that the Central government did not take any preventive measures and has not taken any action to punish the guilty. It should not forget that there are two responsibilities and obligations of the state – to prevent such events and to punish the offenders.

“The BJP is outraged by open anti-India sentiments and demand for sedition at the seminar and finds these as absolutely unacceptable. The whole country was shocked when separatists met under the nose of the Central government to encourage sedition in India.

“Democracy and freedom of expression does not give anybody a right to demand sedition. No democracy permits right to sedition. But some misconceived representatives of civil society have advocated it as free speech. The freedom of speech and expression is a constitutional guarantee, but with certain restrictions. If anybody speaks against the sovereignty of India, such exercise comes under penal law – offences against State.''

Other prominent speakers at the convention on Kashmir, ‘Azadi-The Only Way,' were noted writer Arundhati Roy and Maoist leader Varavara Rao.

India is a democratic country where everybody should have patience to listen good or bad . Then he can argue based on logic. No narowmindnes please

from:  Iftikar
Posted on: Oct 24, 2010 at 19:04 IST

There has been a lot of arguments flowing back and forth in this regard. One feels that these seditious, anti-national elements in Kashmir should be bottled up in the valley only and let them say what ever they want to say or profess by allowing them limited freedom of speech. The other pseudo intellectuals of the likes of Ms Roy and Swami should also be booked for sedition as they were also present on the same platform. They all are for scuttling democracy which is not possible,. The government has rightly made an offer for talks if such elements shun violence. These element are actually scared to face the government because for them the power flows from the barrel of a rifle. The so called intellectuals should have known better while selecting the sides. They have not been able to persuade these elements to come to the negotiation table so what good are they to the society and what is the use of their intellect. They are trying to force the government to halt all operations and at the same time these elements are carrying out their dirty business with impunity. It is a shame that the intellectual elite has got embrioled in this affair on the wrong side as one feels.

from:  Malvinder Singh
Posted on: Oct 23, 2010 at 10:21 IST

But more radical voices at the seminar came from the Dalits, Adivasis, Sikhs, Nagas, Dravidists, Bengalis, lefties and the intellectuals who have not been reduced to a label yet. Why single out the old man Geelani who spends most of his time in jail any way. Why not strip all the oppressed people of their rights in one go?

from:  Gowhar Fazili
Posted on: Oct 23, 2010 at 09:33 IST

Our government let go Mr Geelani several times in past.I do not think they will arrest him now it is just game of words.Kashmir problem can be over for good if we repeal article 370 and let other citizens of India go settle there.When government says kashmir is intergal part of this country then why we can't buy property there.Even our government could not able to get land for Shri Amarnath yatrees. I say this is a weak government, will do nothing. Kashmiri Hindu pandits are still refugees.

from:  vm
Posted on: Oct 23, 2010 at 01:04 IST

Dissapointing that we hold the freedom to expression so low in our 'broader' levels of intelligence. What is said, is said. That's all.

from:  Sid
Posted on: Oct 23, 2010 at 00:02 IST
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