S Asia Geelani Assures Minorities’ Protection


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Interacts With Sikhs, Pandits

Srinagar, Aug 8: The Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani Sunday assured protection to people of different minority communities who live in Kashmir. Describing them as “organs of his body”, the veteran pro-freedom leader appealed people to ensure that minorities feel safe and secure in Kashmir while the ongoing movement continues.

“It is our duty to ensure protection of people belonging to different communities including Sikhs and Pandits,” Geelani told Greater Kashmir after interacting with a delegation of Pandit community led by Sanjay Tikoo and another delegation of Sikh community led by Jagmohan Singh Raina.
The Pandit delegation named “Kashmiri Pandit Sangarash Samiti” had arrived at Geelani’s Hyderpora residence this afternoon. It was followed by the Sikh delegation named “All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee.”

The delegations had raised “some apprehensions” about their safety in view of the present crisis in the Valley. More than 50 Kashmiris have got killed since June 11 in action by police and CRPF pushing Kashmir into crisis.

“People belonging to minority communities are like organs of my body and if any organ gets hurt the entire body feels the pain. I made it clear to them that our fight is not against any community or religion but it is a battle for freedom. Islam teaches us to ensure safety of people,” Geelani said after an hour-long interaction with the communities.

However, he cautioned against “some vested interests” who may try to harm the ongoing struggle by giving it different colors. “People belonging to all the communities have to remain cautious at every step. Some vested interests from any community may try to exploit the present situation and defame the ongoing movement,” he told the Pandit community.

The 12- member Sikh delegation also raised apprehensions about their safety with Geelani. “They never left Kashmir and have supported us during the past 20 years. I told them various agencies have in the past spread different rumors. We have to remain vigilant and never allow them to succeed in their evil designs,” Geelani said following meeting with the Sikh delegation.