Geelani Calls For A "Million March" On Day Of PM's Rally
Pakistan's Bilawal Bhutto greeted with hostile slogans at a Kashmir Million March in London last yr
SRINAGAR: Veteran Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani has called for a "Million March" in Srinagar on November 7 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to address his first public rally here after the PDP-BJP coalition came into power.
"We are expecting a million people to participate in the march for which invitations will be sent to all Hurriyat amalgams. It will be a referendum by the people of Jammu and Kashmir. We want to send a clear message that people are with the freedom movement, not India," Geelani's Tehreek-e-Hurriyat spokesman, Ayaz Akbar, said.
A senior Jammu and Kashmir police officer said the city will be put under siege on the day of the Prime Minister's visit and the Hurriyat leaders are likely to be put under house-arrest. "We will not allow any event which creates law and order problems. All measures will be taken to thwart the march," the police officer, wishing anonymity, said.
However, Akbar said the Hurriyat will give "written assurance" to the state administration that the "Million March" will remain peaceful, "We will seek permission from the district administration and we are ready to give a written assurance that the march will remain peaceful. The participation of people in both rallies will decide which way the wind is blowing in Kashmir."
Modi is expected to announce the much-delayed flood rehabilitation package during his visit to the state on November 7. The Prime Minister will first inaugurate Phase-II of the Baghlihar hydro-electric power project in the Jammu region and then land in Srinagar to address a rally for which the alliance partners are busy making preparations.
Speculations are also rife in the state that the Prime Minister may also invite the Hurriyat leaders for talks. Both the opposition, National Conference as well the chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed have been urging the Centre to resume the talks with separatists for a final settlement of Kashmir issue.
National Conference patron, Dr Farooq Abdullah, recently told a New Delhi-based TV channel that Modi should follow the footsteps of his predecessor, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and invite separatist leadership for talks when he visits the state.
The "Agenda of the Alliance", which was worked out after nearly two months of hectic negotiations between PDP and BJP leadership, also mentions involving "all stakeholders" in talks for resolution of "outstanding issues".