Masarat Alam praised founder of Lashker-e-Taiba terror outfit Hafeez Mohammed Sayeed and asked people to join hands with his outfit.
SRINAGAR/NEW DELHI: Under attack over pro- Pakistan slogans and flags being waved at a rally by hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed today said it was “not acceptable” and “will not be tolerated’.
Hours after the rally in Srinagar on Wednesday, Sayeed had received a phone call from Home Minister Rajnath Singh asking him to take “immediate and stringent” action against the law breakers.
The Home Minister today asserted, “We will not tolerate anyone raising slogans like ‘Pakistan zindabad’ on Indian soil.
“There can be no compromise on national security. Politics cannot impinge on national security,” he told Sayeed.
The state Government, in which BJP is an alliance partner, came in for a flak over its decision to allow Geelani to hold a rally after five years in Srinagar city as pro-Pakistan slogans were raised and Pakistani flags waved.
During the rally, separatist Masarat Alam, released from jail last month, praised founder of Lashker-e-Taiba terror outfit Hafeez Mohammed Sayeed and asked people to join hands with his outfit.
Pushed on a backfoot, Sayeed tried to defend his decision of giving permission to the rally but made it clear that hoisting of Pakistan flags and raising pro-Pakistan slogans “is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.”
The Jammu and Kashmir Police has registered an FIR against Geelani, Alam and another separatist leader from Hurriyat Conference under various sections of Ranbir Penal Code and Unlawful (Activities) Prevention Act.
Talking to reporters in Anantnag, Sayeed said “law will take its own course. If anyone has made a mistake, the law will do its work.”
Ram Madhav, chief negotiator from BJP side in alliance formation talks with PDP, said that his party had not joined the government in the state for seeing pro-Pakistan slogans being raised.
“It is important to create an atmosphere where such incidents do not get repeated. For that it is essential to take strict action whenever something like this happens.
“So strict action is a pre-requisite for the government. This is what we have said and our deputy Chief Minister in the state has also clearly said that we are not there in the government to see pro-Pak slogans raised there.
“It is necessary to stop such activities for development of the state,” he said.
But a member of Sayeed’s People’s Democratic Party has in controversial remarks said that democratic space cannot be denied to separatists.
“Separatism and Pakistan constituency in Kashmir is a reality and we have to deal with it. We can’t deny democratic space to these people. It is an ideological battle now. We have to make them mainstream by giving them democratic space,” said Wahid Rehman Parra, the PDP’s youth president and spokesperson.
A defiant Alam said waving of Pakistani flags by the youth was a “representation of the feelings, aspirations and sentiments of the people across the state” and he saw nothing wrong in such actions.
He was also dismissive of the case registered against him, saying over the years he has become used to FIRs being lodged against him.
After a gap of five years, Jammu and Kashmir Government yesterday allowed Geelani to hold the rally where his supporters including Masarat Alam, raised pro-Pakistan slogans and others waved Pakistani flags.
Alam, who was released soon after PDP-BJP government came to power in the state, led the march from the Srinagar Airport to Geelani’s residence at Hyderpora.
This was Geelani’s first public rally after the 2010 summer agitation in Srinagar in which over 100 youths were killed. Alam was a key player in the entire agitation and used to issue a weekly schedule for strikes.