An all-party delegation to Kashmir attempting to meet separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq during their ongoing visit to the Valley, was taken aback when separatists refused to meet them.
An all-party delegation outside Hurriyat leader Seyd Ali Shah Geelani’s house ndtv
Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani, under house arrest since July, refused to meet Sitaram Yechury, D Raja and Sharad Yadav when they went to his residence.
Outside his house at Haiderpora, many Geelani supporters booed the delegation and angrily shouted slogans such as “Go India, go back” and “We want freedom.”
After their failed bid at Haiderpora, the three leaders returned to the Sher-e-Kashmir convention centre where they had earlier attended a meeting of all parties with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Sharad Yadav, Yechury and Raja earlier went to meet Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chief Mohd Yasin Malik at a police hub turned into a prison at Humhama, close to the Srinagar airport.
Malik met them barely for 10 minutes and that there was no point in holding any talks with the MPs.
Separately, Asaduddin Owaisi of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen went to meet moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz at Chashma Shahi where a tourist hut has been converted to a sub-jail.
Twitter/Syed Ali Shah Geelani
While Mirwaiz was cold to Owaisi, a disappointed Owaisi then met Shabir Shah for some 10 minutes but Shah too made it clear that he was in no mood for any dialogue with the MPs or the government.
Yadav said it was their effort to show they were ready to talk to anyone. “We can face anything for the country. These things do not matter.”
Former moderate Hurriyat Conference chief Abdul Ghani Bhat welcomed the MPs but told them a decision had been taken to boycott them. Bhat called the visit a “futile exercise”, saying nothing concrete would happen unless India talked to Pakistan.
Separatists had reservations talking to the team as Rajnath Singh was leading it.
The separatists had earlier rejected CM Mehbooba Mufti’s invitation+ to meet the delegation. “These deceitful methods of crisis management through parliamentary delegations and track two only prolong the sufferings of the people and cannot take the place of a genuine transparent agenda-based dialogue to address the core issue of the peoples’ right to self-determination,” Geelani, Malik and the Mirwaiz said in a statement.
The statement said nobody was more aware than Mehbooba that the “Indian war machine is on a spree to kill, maim and disfigure an entire population into complete submission for demanding freedom”.
So far 71 people have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces since July following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter.