Pakistan flags waved at Geelani’s rally in Kashmir’s Tral

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New Delhi: Days after Kashmiri separatist leaders Masarat Alam was heard shouting pro-Pakistani slogans during a rally in Tral, Pakistani flag were again waved in a rally by Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Friday.

The rally also witnessed pro-Pakistan sloganeering.

At an April 15 rally, too, held by Geelani, Pakistani flags were waved by supporters which led to filing of case against him, his close aide Masarat Alam Bhat and others on sedition and other charges. Bhat was arrested the next day and booked under the stringent Public Safety Act a week later.

The Friday rally was organised in memory of a youth who was shot dead by security forces in an encounter in Tral last month.

Geelani, at the rally, said the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir Himalayas should be restricted to 30 days for “safety” of pilgrims and protection of environment.

“We advise the government to restrict the yatra to one month like Uttarakhand-Gangotri yatra time table. It will be safe for the pilgrims as well as the environment,” Geelani said.

This year, the yatra to the holy cave shrine will be for 59 days from July 2.

Terming Hindus, Sikhs and Christians as part of Kashmiri society, Geelani said, “We welcome return of pandits to their homes but separate townships for them is neither good for the Pandits nor the Muslims.

“Setting up of separate colonies is like dividing our society on religious lines which will harm our age old co-existence and brotherhood,” Geelani said, adding that the pandits will have no threat from their Muslim brethren.

“We want to assure you that we will ensure the safety of your lives and honour,” Geelani said.

The separatist leader also alleged that handing out Permanent resident certificates (PRCs) at school level is a conspiracy to settle West Pakistan refugees through the “back door”.

“We will oppose it tooth and nail,” he said.

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