Hours after Afzal Guru, convicted in the 2001 Parliament attack case, was hanged in Tihar Jail, the chiefs of both factions of the Hurriyat Conference — Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq — were put under house arrest by the Delhi Police as a preventive measure on Saturday.
Professor SAR Geelani, who was acquitted in the attack case by the Supreme Court, was also placed under house arrest, while journalist Iftikhar Gilani was detained for questioning and later let off by senior Delhi police officers.
Senior police officers confirmed that all the four were placed under house arrests anticipating that the four might disturb law and order situation in the city either by reaching outside the Tihar jail or organising meetings with other separatist leaders.
SAS Geelani was in the Capital for medical treatment while Farooq was camping in Delhi trying to secure a passport so that he can go to Egypt to attend the Organisation of Islamic Conference.
Sources said policemen restricted the exit of any family member of the two separatists. Both the factions have given strike call to protest against the execution.
SAR Geelani alleged that the government did not inform Afzal Guru's family before he was hanged. "The rejection of mercy petition is subject to judicial review. That opportunity should have been given to him. I am not sure what has happened. It was an "unfortunate" decision to hang Guru," he had said before being placed under house arrest.
On the other hand, Gilani had tweeted, "my phone off...not receiving or calling ….I am now in office... was detained along with wife and children." Later in the afternoon, Gilani again tweeted that he was allowed to move out, "after my whole office arrived on scene...my wife and me were kept in separate house".
Meanwhile, members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal scuffled with Kashmiri youths at Jantar Mantar over the hanging of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on Saturday afternoon.
Around 25 members of the VHP and Bajrang Dal gathered at Jantar Mantar and raised slogans against Afzal Guru. They celebrated his hanging at the Tihar Jail and distributed sweets and burst firecrackers.
Minutes later, around 20 Kashmiri students from the JNU and Delhi University arrived at the venue, holding placards that read “I am Afzal, hang me too”. They were accompanied by members of CPI (M-L), Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) and National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO), who were condemning capital punishment.
As these activists tried to put up posters supporting Afzal, the right-wing groups snatched the posters and tore them. In the ensuing fisticuffs, a PUDR member had his face blackened by Bajrang Dal activists. The situation was brought under control by policemen in riot gear who bundled the students into waiting buses and drove them away.