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Geelani threatens to intensify Kashmir agitation

November 20, 2010 16:40 IST

Hard-line separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani Saturday asked the government to immediately release political prisoners and stop human rights violations in Kashmir failing which he threatened to intensify the agitation.

"We will intensify the present agitation to a new pitch which India would not be able to imagine at the moment if the government doesn't release political prisoners and stop the rights violations," Geelani who has been spearheading the ongoing 'Quit Kashmir campaign' told a news conference at his residence where he has been under house arrest.

Geelani issued a fresh protest calendar calling for shutdowns on November 24 and 27 and also called for a march to Eidgah grounds in old city on Friday 'to lay the foundation of a wall in memory of the martyrs.'

The hard-line leader said that 'keeping in view the hardships and the losses suffered by the people on account of shutdowns their frequency has now been cut down'.

He, however, added the 'ongoing agitation will continue' and alleged that 'state government was using money power to scuttle the protest programmes'.

Geelani has been issuing weekly calendars of protests and shutdowns for the past over five months to press his demands that include 'recognition by New Delhi of Kashmir being an international dispute, withdrawal of troops, release of detenues and withdrawal of the AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act)'.

The over five-month-long unrest has so far claimed 112 lives and left hundreds others wounded and has reared its head again from Eid Day with the Valley witnessing fresh protestor-security force clashes after a relative pre-Eid calm.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar