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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Force-feeding row: Geelani condemns Shiv Sena MPs act

Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, July 24, 2014
First Published: 17:58 IST(24/7/2014) | Last Updated: 23:21 IST(24/7/2014)

Hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani on Thursday condemned the alleged force-feeding of a fasting Muslim by a Maharashtra MP and said the communal slogan of 'Baharat mein rehna hein, Ram Ram kehna hein' was becoming the government policy of the country.

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"The establishment of the new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in New Delhi has encouraged the communal-minded people to start the anti-Muslim activities," alleged the 84-year-old separatist leader Geelani, who spearheads a conglomerate of separatist group of Kashmir.

He described the "force-feeding" of a fasting Muslim caterer by Shiv Sena MP Rajan Baburao Vichare, two days ago in Maharashtra Bhawan, New Delhi, as "an indication of Hindutva and Hindu Rashtra being forcibly thrust upon the Muslims of India."

"Whoever will oppose it, he will be either killed or forced to exile," alleged Geelani.

Stating that the country was "adopting the shape of a Hindu imperialist power", Geelani alleged, "The fact is proved that the communal slogan like Baharat mein rehna hein, Ram Ram kehna hein (If one has to live in India, he has to recite Ram Ram) is becoming the government policy of the country."

He alleged that starting of the Kounsar Nag Yatra in south Kashmir was also a link of this process. "It is an attempt to make the Hindutva a national religion of the country".

"All communal-minded people of the country are hell-bent to eliminate the identity of the minorities. Muslims and Kashmiris are particularly their main target," he said.

The Hurriyat leader said such activities "will not only be resisted tooth and nail in Kashmir".

Meanwhile, the Awami Ittihaad Party (AIP) took to the streets in Srinagar over the "force feeding" and burnt the flags of the Shiv Sena at Press Enclave.

The AIP, which is headed by legislator Engineer Rashid, demanded dismissal of 11 Shiv Sena MPs and registration of criminal case against them.

"The AIP reject their apology as this heinous act violates the maintained international law on religious affairs, hurting the sentiments of the Muslims across the world," said AIP leader advocate Sajad Sheikh.

"There seems to be a larger communal ideology behind the act as a large number of Parliament members are involved," he added.

AIP senior leader Tanveer Hussain Khan said, "We will fight every communal force here. The Shiv Sena and other communal forces should never underestimate the power of minorities."

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