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Geelani’s detention triggers protests in Anantnag, Srinagar

Geelani had announced to offer Friday prayers in Anantnag and was scheduled to address a public gathering there after the prayers.

Separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani was detained on Friday morning when he was leaving for Anantnag district in south Kashmir to offer prayers at a mosque and address a rally, triggering protests in Srinagar and Anantnag.

The detention came within days of Director General of Police K. Rajendra publicly declaring that Mr. Geelani “a free man who could go anywhere to offer prayers.”

“After the DGP said Mr. Geelani was not under house arrest and he was free to go anywhere, Mr. Geelani announced during a Hurriyat seminar on June 28 that he would test the government and the police chief's claim by going to Anantnag to offer prayers on Friday,” Tehreek-e-Hurriyat spokersperson Ayaz Akbar told The Hindu.

“Mr. Geelani tried to leave his house around 11 a.m. and was immediately arrested. Now, why isn’t the DGP saying anything about him being a free man,” Mr. Akbar asked.

IGP, Kashmir, Javed Gilani said the decision to detain Mr. Geelani was taken at the local administrative level. “There were fears of breach of peace if he was allowed to go,” he said.

Soon after the news of Mr. Geelani’s detention spread, clashes broke out between protesters and armed forces in Anantnag.

In Srinagar’s downtown area police officers detained four protesters — two in Nowhatta and Khanyar police stations each.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 12:44:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/kashmir-police-prevents-separatist-leader-syed-ali-shah-geelanis-plan-to-address-rally-in-anantnag/article7382687.ece

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