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Cops may charge Geelani with sedition

Source: PTI
October 24, 2010 16:31 IST
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The Union Home Ministry has given a go ahead to Delhi Police for registering a case against firebrand separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and few others for purportedly giving "hate speeches" at a seminar heldĀ in New DelhiĀ earlier this week.

Highly-placed sources in the ministry said that an advice from the legal department was received that prima facie a case can be registered against Geelani and others for making statements which are seen as an attempt to instigate secession. The sources said the Delhi Police has been asked to register a case, which they are expected to do soon. Geelani, who gave a call to boycott the three interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir, flew back to Kashmir on Sunday.

Geelani's speech in New Delhi had triggered sharp comments from the Bharatiya Janata Party. BJP leader Arun Jaitley had accused the government of "looking the other way" when a number of separatist groups met at a conference to instigate session and to say that India cannot be one and must be broken. This, he said, was unacceptable as there was no right of free speech available to break up the country. This was against

the sovereignty and integrity of the country and anyone exercising his right of speech in such a manner comes under criminal law. It is an offence against the state, the BJP leader said. However, rejecting the BJP leader's charge, Home Minister P Chidambaram had said Delhi police will take action in accordance with law over the speeches made by Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah and others at a seminar here on October 21.

"I strongly reject Arun Jaitley's charge that the Centre was doing nothing when a seminar was held yesterday in which Geelani and others participated," he had said in a statement. Chidambaram said the authorities had videographed the entire proceedings of the seminar and have submitted them to the legal advisers for opinion whether there has been a violation of the law. "If it is established prima facie that the laws have been violated, Delhi police will take action in accordance with the law," he said. At the convention on 'Azadi--The Only Way', Geelani shared the stage with writer Arundhati Roy and pro-Maoist leader Vara Vara Rao among others. Geelani was heckled by the audience with one of them throwing a shoe.

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