Shiv Sena activists disrupt news conference in Jammu

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Wikinews
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Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Activists of the Shiv Sena today disrupted a news conference of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the leader of the breakaway fraction of the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Kashmir's largest separatist alliance. Geelani was scheduled to address the press after his release from prison. He was arrested on Wednesday in south Kashmir on charges of inciting people against the Indian state during a series of speeches in Poonch district of South Kashmir in 2001.

Shiv Sena activists barged into the venue of the press meet and shouted slogans against him for his pro-Pakistan utterances. "They are supporters of Pakistan. They say that they want independence. We will allow them to allow them to raise anti-India themes here. We will not allow them to organise a news conference till they support India," said an activist of the Shiv Sena. Arguments also broke out between the activists of Shiv Sena and supporters of Geelani. Things turned worse when the police intervened to calm it down.

Geelani, accused the police of supporting the activists of the Shiv Sena, when they tried to take him away to cool off tempers. "We were giving a news conference peacefully when supporters of Shiv Sena came in and started shouting slogans. Now the police are also supporting them," he said, as he was being escorted away by policemen.

Geelani, who supports Jammu and Kashmir joining Pakistan, is supported by most of the armed Islamist militants fighting Indian rule in the disputed region in a conflict that has killed more than 45,000 people since it began in 1989. The 77-year-old separatist has been arrested and jailed on several occasions for making statements urging people to support Kashmir's accession to Pakistan.

Sources