Monday, October 12, 2009

Geelanised cops, outside Geelani’s residence

                   By  Naseer A Ganai

Srinagar, Oct 11: An eerie silence greets visitors outside Hurriyat Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s residence. Geelani is under house arrest since September 10, when he was released from the jail on High Court orders. The main gate of his residence was closed, and police van was parked just outside it. There was no sign of life on the street except the three policemen sitting on chairs reading Urdu weeklies.

“Geelani Sahib is still under house arrest,” said a policeman, who is on duty for last 14 days. But he seemed very apologetic and was in mood to have conversation. “We have heard the High Court has ordered that restrictions outside Geelani Sahib’s residence should be lifted. But so far the order has not been served to police. Look, we have our own limitations,” he said.

Three police personnel were not the only guards posted by the State government outside the residence of Geelani. The guards said 14 police personnel remain on the duty.  They said small number of guards remain outside the residence while as others take rest in a room in Geelani’s house which is adjacent to main gate. “He (Geelani) is very kind. He came to realize that we remain outside 24 hours, he provided room for us, adjacent to the gate,” said the policemen.

For past 14 days, twice Geelani has came upto the gate of his house. “He came upto the gate and inquired whether we are getting any food or not,” said a policeman. He said senior officials of the police have visited the place and wanted to meet Geelani but he didn’t come to meet them. “He (Geelani) is big leader and has reputation around the world. So why should he meet the visiting officials,” argued the guards. The guards however said they have orders not allow Geelani to step outside his house. “The orders have to be followed strictly. Geelani Sahib came upto the gate twice and then returned,” the policemen said. The guards have there own notions about the high court judgment. “The judgment to lift the restrictions has not been signed by the judge so far,” they said, adding the judge has gone to Jammu and when he would return he would sign the order. “We too have not interest to remain on guard of Geelani,” said a policeman.

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