PC hints at action against Geelani

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Oct 23, 2010 01:11 IST

Home Minister P Chidambaram has announced Delhi police would act in accordance with law over allegedly seditious speeches by Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and others at a seminar in New Delhi on Thursday.

The announcement came after Opposition leader Arun Jaitley accused the Centre of “looking the other way”.

Chidambaram said the authorities had videographed the proceedings of the seminar and submitted them to legal advisers for an opinion on whether laws were violated. “If it is established prima facie that the laws have been violated, Delhi police will take action in accordance with the law,” he said.

“I strongly reject Arun Jaitley’s charge that the Centre  was doing nothing when a seminar was held in which Geelani and others participated.”

Jaitley had accused the government of “looking the other way” when separatists met at a conference to say that India cannot be one and must be broken.

“In a democracy, the right to secede cannot be accepted in the garb of right to free speech. The right to free speech enshrined in the Constitution cannot be used against the country.”

“Democracy and freedom of expression does not give anybody a right to demand sedition... But some misconceived representatives of civil society have advocated it as free speech. If anybody speaks against the sovereignty of India, such exercise comes under penal law — offences against state.”


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