Killings of innocent people for political purpose unjustified: Geelani
Hurriyat G chairman regrets the killings and kidnappings in the Valley during the 1990s
In his recently released autobiography, Hurriyat G chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani has condemned the militant kidnappings in the past, saying they could not be justified on moral grounds. He has also termed as unjustified the killings of innocent people for a political purpose.
Geelani has expressed his unease while writing about the kidnappings in the early nineties of the daughters of the former union ministers Mufti Muhammad Sayeed and Saif-u-Din Soz.
“We cannot justify these kidnappings on moral grounds,” Geelani writes in his autobiography Wular Kinaray (On the Banks of Wular). “By making their (Mufti’s and Soz’s) daughters go through mental torture we have negated our own principles. We have derived no benefit from this act. It has only harmed Kashmir cause”.
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front had kidnapped Rubaiya Sayeed, the daughter of Mufti Sayeed in 1989 when armed insurgency began in Kashmir. Mufti was then Union Home Minister and militants sought the release of five of its top militants in return for her release. The Union government which was then headed by Prime Minister V P Singh conceded to the demand and freed the militants.
In 1991, militants kidnapped Nahida Soz, the daughter of Soz. She was subsequently freed in return for the release of a militant.
Geelani has also expressed his grief at the killings of Prof Mushir-ul-Haq, the then Vice Chancellor of Kashmir University, his personal assistant Abdul Gani and General Manager Hindustan Machine Tools HL Khera. All of them were abducted and killed in 1990.
“The question arises what sins they had committed and why they were killed and whether these incidents were helpful to our cause,” Geelani writes. “Our struggle is against Indian Army and paramilitary forces. It is not against any religion, caste, colour or creed”.
This is for the first time that Geelani has spoken against these incidents. However, at the time of these incidents Geelani who had only recently resigned as the MLA from Sopore was on the margins of separatist politics. It was only when Hurriyat was constituted in 1993 under the chairmanship of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq that he emerged on the scene.
The autobiography in which Geelani claims to have been offered Prime Ministership of Kashmir by New Delhi during his jail term in early nineties was released on October 10 and ever since it has become a subject of heated debate in Kashmir. The book has already run up against severe criticism by JKLF which has termed it as a “distortion of history”. JKLF has also questioned the veracity of many incidents in the book.
Riyaz Wani is a Special Correspondent with Tehelka.