The Jammu and Kashmir Police have declared a virtual war against hard-line separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani, countering him with facts and figures.
Two days after the police issued a list of 35 youth who are behind the bar on charges of rape, sodomy, theft and drug-peddling, a Geelani loyalist was on Friday accuse of attacking military intelligence official at a rally in Sopore on November 11.
In a statement, the police that Mudasir Ahmad, who acted a Geelani's protector at the rally, was arrested on the day.
“On November 13, Syed Ali Shah Geelani moved an application to lodge a first information report, which was considered a positive gesture by the police and his application was included in the investigation. He was asked to hand over the snatched pistol, which he failed to return and was also reluctant to hand over his protectors – who had taken law into their hands by assaulting the military intelligence official — to the police,” the police said.
Pointing that six persons were initially arrested in connection with the case, the police said that statement of one of the arrested persons led to the recovery of the intelligence official from Mudasir Ahmad Dar of Untoo Hamam Sopore and his subsequent arrest along with five others. Mr. Dar was allegedly about to hand over the firearm to Lashkar-i-Toiba militants.The police said that all the accused have been functioning as “foot soldiers” for Mr. Geelani, who allegedly had briefed the media that his men caught hold of the intelligence official.
Responding to Mr. Geelani's call for strike in protest against holding 51 “minor political prisoners”, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Central Kashmir Range) Abdul Gani Mir had given out the list of the 35 youth on Wednesday. Many parts of the valley witnessed a shut down on the day though the uptown localities of Srinagar and some other towns were not affected.
“A majority of the arrests were on the grounds of rape, sodomy, theft, outraging the modesty of women, eve teasing, violation of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act (Drug Peddling), murder, kidnapping and other heinous social crimes,” Mr. Mir said, adding that most of the alleged minors were already granted bail.
He maintained that young boys involved in subversive activitieshave been already bailed out with none left in police custody.
Criticising Mr. Geelani, the DIG said: “It is clear that in order to malign the image of the State and the police, how these Hurriyat leaders stoop so low to portray rapists, thieves, rogues, gamblers, drug peddlers, eve teasers and murderers as innocent victims.”
Reacting to police statements, Mr. Geelani's spokesman Ayaz Akbar alleged that “they are not based on facts”.
“Jammu and Kashmir is a police state and any charges can be slapped by them. Who is here to scrutinise?” he said adding that it was aimed at “maligning Mr. Geelani who is a respected leader and whose popularity in Kashmir is beyond doubt”.