Spearheading poll boycott campaign, Geelani placed under house arrest | india | Hindustan Times
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Spearheading poll boycott campaign, Geelani placed under house arrest

india Updated: Dec 06, 2013 18:07 IST
HT Correspondent

Hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who is spearheading a poll boycott campaign, was placed under house arrest in Srinagar on Friday.

Geelani (83), who was scheduled to address a rally after Friday prayers in north Kashmir's Bandipora district, was told by police early in the morning that he would not be allowed to proceed for any Friday congregation.

"Geelani was detained in his house at Hyderpora, and was not allowed to come out," said Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar.

Akbar condemned the administration's move saying, "The government led by (chief minister) Omar has practically surrendered before Geelani."

Geelani's aides and members of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, including Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, were also detained when they were on their way to Bandipora.

"Five of our leaders were arrested," said Akbar.

All four were arrested at Sumbal in Baramulla district.

Supporters of Geelani clashed with security forces to protest the detention of Geelani and his associates. The protests broke out immediately after the Friday prayers in Bandipora town's main market.

There were reports of youths hurling stones at a CRPF camp, where the personnel resorted to tear smoke shells to quell the protesters.

Geelani's house arrest came just five days after he addressed a rally in south Kashmir's Kulgam town, where he asked people to boycott the upcoming parliamentary and assembly polls.

After a 235-day confinement in his house, Geelani was released on October 29. He was placed under house arrest immediately after Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was hanged on February 9.

After his release last month, Geelani addressed several public rallies in north and south Kashmir.

The Hurriyat is planning a rally in Srinagar on December 8 where, according to its spokesman, Geelani will make important announcements, including regarding the poll boycott campaign.

This will be his first rally in the summer capital Srinagar ever since he was placed under house arrest earlier this year. The Hurriyat has pasted posters in several areas asking people to make the Srinagar rally a success.