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Syed Ali Geelani rejects Indian govt’s offer

September 26, 2010

SRINAGAR: The separatist leader who has organised months of protests in Indian-administered Kashmir dismissed Sunday an offer from the India government for fresh talks and a security review in the state.

The proposals were put forward by Home Minister P. Chidambaram after he led an all-party mission last week to the Muslim-majority region, which has been shaken by pro-independence protests and strict curfews since June.

“It is a time-gaining exercise and unrealistic. It is aimed to hoodwink the international community,” Syed Ali Shah Geelani told reporters in Srinagar.

“If rulers in New Delhi believe that by releasing a few students and providing ex gratia relief to the families of martyrs they can reduce the alienation (of Kashmiris), they are wrongly mistaken,” he said.

Chidambaram’s eight-point plan was the first major initiative by the government to end clashes between stone-throwing crowds and security forces in which 107 civilians have been shot and killed.

The home minister said a group of “interlocutors” would be appointed to reach out to Kashmiris in a bid to calm the protests, the largest since a separatist insurgency erupted in 1989.

Most of those killed have been young men and teenagers shot by police and paramilitary troops firing live ammunition and rubber bullets.

Chidambaram said the state government would be told to free 255 protesters jailed for throwing stones at security forces.

Authorities will also consider reducing the security presence in the heavily militarised Kashmir valley, and will review some areas of emergency military law imposed in the region.

Rights groups have long pushed for repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which gives security forces the power to open fire, detain suspects and confiscate property.

“We think these steps should address the concerns of different sections of Jammu and Kashmir, including (those of) the protesters,” said Chidambaram.

Moderate separatist said they were discussing their response to the government package.

Kashmir is divided between Pakistan and India, which both claim the region in full.

The dispute over the region has triggered two of the rival nations’ three wars since partition of the subcontinent in 1947.

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One comment

  1. WE WANT FREEDOM.

    1. freedom from cruel Indian army

    2. freedom from bloody politicians of India

    3. freedom from Hindu terrorists

    4. freedom from Indian snake charmers

    5. freedom from bloody traitors of Kashmir

    6. freedom from un Islamic Govt

    7. freedom from BLOODY INDIA



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