Thursday, October 21, 2010

Protesters hurl shoe at Geelani, tell him to leave

Leader of Hurriyat's hardline faction faced public ire in the Capital on Thursday when a shoe was hurdled at him by protesters.

Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani was attending a function organised at the Kamani Auditorium on 'Azaadi — The Only Way'. The function was attended by the sympathisers of Kashmiri separatists and Naxals.

At the convention, a group of around 70 people, including Kashmiri Pandits, staged a protest against the separatist leader's presence. The protesters shouted slogans like 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' and 'Vande Mataram'. Before Geelani could get up to speak, they started yelling at him, asking him to leave the venue.

Amid the pandemonium, someone threw a shoe at Geelani, who was on the dais. The shoe missed Geelani. Several protesters also tried to climb onto the stage to attack him, but a human chain was formed around Geelani by the security personnel and organisers of the event to protect the Hurriyat leader. Among other leaders who attended the event was author-activist Arundhati Roy. Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani, a lecturer at the Delhi University, who was an accused in the 2001 Parliament attack but was later set free, was also present at the convention.

A senior police officer said, "Thirty protesters have been detained at the Parliament Street police station."
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