Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in Jammu on Saturday said that it was New Delhi not the hardline Kashmiri leadership, which was thrusting a solution of Kashmir issue through gun.
"Is it sanity to have a presence of seven to 10 lakh occupational troops in a state, where even the Army and intelligence officers put the number of militants at not more than 1,500?" Geelani asked addressing a new conference.
Geelani who is considered the most consistent secessionist leader in the state said picking up the gun was a compulsion for the people of Kashmir to press for the resolution of the long-standing dispute.
"We even fought elections, which is the most democratic process. I remained in the state assembly for 15 years. The candidates of the Muslim United Front for whom people had cast their votes were detained in the Heera Nagar Jail and instead the puppets were elected in 1987 assembly elections," Geelani said trying to explain guns were thrust on Kashmiris.
"There is bigger occupying gun of India," he said when asked whether he believed gun still had a role.
Referring to the recent expose of the alleged fake-encounters in Kashmir, Geelani said when a bear was killed by people in south Kashmir people in India raised hue and cry but added that they kept mum for their national interest despite knowing about the gravest of human rights violations committed by their troops.
"Custodial killings are the worst kind of state-sponsored terrorism," he said. The septuagenarian leader also termed the moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq "yes man" of Pakistan president Parvez Musharaff.
While the press conference was on, the scores of activists of Shiv Sena (Thakrey) led by Anan Sharma and Janta Party led by Som Nath Dabgotra burnt Geelani's effigy and after he came out of the Press Club Jammu, they tried to stop Geelani and barged into his vehicle kicking and hitting it with sticks before police dispersed them.