NIA unearths Geelani's `protest calendar'

A detailed protest calendar, issued and signed by Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani and recovered by the NIA, points to the role of separatists in organising events in coordination with handlers in Pakistan that led to widespread violence in Kashmir.

The NIA has found documents that list dates when protests and activities related to civil unrest was to be carried out in the Valley following the shooting of Hizb leader Burhan Wani. The `protest calendar', recovered from Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Ahmad Shah `Funtoosh', establishes how Hurriyat has systematically stoked the violence that resulted in several deaths in clashes between stone pelters and security forces.

The protests, intended to fan radicalism, involved local clerics and separatist cadres as well as activists of opposi tion parties, and were funded by Hurriyat in concert with Pakistani agencies, the NIA probe indicates. For example, on August 6, 2016, Geelani called for occupying chowks and centres in the vicinity of mohallas, villages and localities, and the playing of Islamic and azadi songs in masjids.

The calendar marked the activities for August 2016, when J&K saw the maximum number of protests and stone pelting incidents. On August 8, the activity mentioned was to block all roads towards the civil secretariat in Srinagar and tehsil offices and to ensure no employee was able to join duty.

Geelani `directed' that “deputy commissioners have to desist from calling employees over phone and pressurising them to resume duty“. The calendar also asked for special prayers on August 14, Pakistan's independence day , and the playing of Islamic and freedom songs, while observing black day on August 15.

NIA sources said it was proof that J&K shutdowns were ordered and managed by separatists and stone-pelters were sheltered by them. Officials said Geelani would soon be questioned in the matter.

No comments: