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Geelani drops plan to protest in Valley on Diwali

November 02, 2010 23:57 IST
Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani has decided to announce a day's grace on November 5, the day of Diwali, in his schedule of protests from November 6 to November 8 to coincide with United States President Barack Obama's visit to India.
Geelani, who has also been spearheading the over four-month long Quit Kashmir campaign, made this decision after fervent appeals from the non-Muslim community in Srinagar. The local Hindus and Sikhs had appealed to Geelani to withdraw the call for strike on November 5, so that they could celebrate Diwali without
any hiccups.

Geelani, who has been under house arrest in his uptown residence at Hyderpora, said, "Islam teaches us to respect sentiments of other communities. The Hindus and Sikhs are a part of our society. There will be no strike on Friday."

The Hindu and Sikh community appreciated Geelani's gesture. Jagmohan Singh Raina, chairman, Sikh coordination committee chairman, said, "Hindus and Sikh will celebrate the festival of lights with simplicity. They will show solidarity with the families of those who lost their kin in the past over four months."
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar