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Hawala racket case government's plot against me: Geelani
November 08, 2007 20:09 IST
Rubbishing allegations about his involvement in a recently busted hawala racket, chairman of the hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Thursday accused the government of preparing grounds for his arrest before the upcoming elections in the state next year.
"All this negative propaganda campaign is being done with an eye on the upcoming polls...prepare grounds for my arrest and keep me away from the poll boycott campaign," Geelani said in Srinagar [Images].
"We had appealed to people to disassociate themselves from the polls and started organising public meetings which frustrated the government of India. They had floated a false hawala case to stop me," he alleged.
"A similar drama was enacted before the 2002 polls in the state, the income tax authorities carried out a raid in my house. My household articles were taken into custody by the government and me and my two sons were kept behind bars for a prolonged period," he said.
The Jammu and Kashmir [Images] police arrested five people and recovered nearly Rs 50 lakh from a Srinagar-bound vehicle in Udhampur district on November 4. A non-resident Kashmiri was arrested for the crime and police claim that Geelani has contacts with that person.
"I strongly deny the ridiculous and baseless allegations," Geelani said.
Asked about the disclosure made by his aide G M Bhat that the hawala money was meant for his Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Geelani said, "You can extract the statement of your choice from an arrested person. Such a statement has no validity under any law in the world."
When professor Sheikh and Saifuddin Bhat were arrested a few years ago in Delhi on similar charges, the Indian government could not prove it and they will not be able to prove the hawala racket charge even now, Geelani asserted.