2 Poonch Locals Face 6-Month Jail Over Geelani

Srinagar, Oct 15: A Poonch judge has ordered two locals to produce the Hurriyat (G) chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, in court within two days on pain of depositing Rs 60,000 as surety or facing six months in jail in connection with a six-year-old police case against the separatist leader.

The order was issued by the Poonch sessions court against Muhammad Asghar and Khan Muhammmad Khan who had entered as guarantors on Geelani’s visit to the frontier district in 2006.

The duo had come to the fore when the Poonch police had issued an arrest warrant against Geelani after his departure from the district, reports said.

Reacting to the court order, the Hurriyat (G) said that the guarantors were being intimidated.

“If the government wants to arrest Syed Ali Shah Geelani, it can go ahead and do so,” the Hurriyat (G) spokesman, Ayaz Akbar, said. “What is the need to bully the guarantors?”

“As it is, the Hurriyat chairman is confined to his own house, and not permitted even to attend Friday prayers,” he said. “How is it possible for two residents in Poomch to produce him in court?”

“The government is highly mistaken to think that it can cow Geelani down with such tactics.,” he said.

“Even today, the Hurriyat chairman has over 90 cases against him in different police stations, and the state and the central governments deem him as the sole hurdle in their plans,” he said.

“And they labour under the impression that the resistance will not continue after him,” he said.

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