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Hurriyat U-Turn; Says No Change In Planned Protest March

Srinagar:  Hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Friday made a U-turn within hours of dropping the plans to stage protest marches to army and other security forces camps here
PTI September 17, 2010 20:10 IST
PTI
Srinagar:  Hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Friday made a U-turn within hours of dropping the plans to stage protest marches to army and other security forces camps here on September 21 saying "there was no change in the plans".

 "There is no change in the protest calendar so far. The programme given for September 21 stands as of now," Geelani told PTI here.

Earlier, spokesman of the hardline faction Ayaz Akbar said the amalgam has decided to drop the planned marches to army and other security forces camps.

However, Geelani said decisions of this kind cannot be taken individually. "The 'Majlis-e-shoura' (advisory council) has to meet in case any changes are to be made."  Asked when the advisory council is expected to meet, he said it will be announced in the due course of time.

'There was a communication gap which led to the error. We regret the inconvenience," Akbar said after Geelani's clarification.

Akbar had said the decision to drop the protest march was taken as there was "genuine apprehension" that authorities will take strong action against the protesters.

Geelani had yesterday said the proposed protest march would be peaceful and there were no plans to attack the security forces' camps.

 "We only want to tell the forces that they will have to leave this land one day. The elders of the respective areas will lead the marches and hand over memoranda to the army personnel in this regard," he said.

 Taking strong note of the Geelani's protest programme, the army had asked people to ignore the call given by him.

"The army makes a sincere appeal to people to avoid being misled by the Hurriyat leaders and avoid confronting army garrisons or vehicles," Defence spokesman Lt Colonel J S Brar said yesterday.

 The army had also asked the Hurriyat Conference to withdraw the protest to prevent loss of life and property.

The army appeal came a day after top security and civil officials met here to devise a strategy to tackle the separatist programme for September 21.

 As part of the strategy, army personnel have been deployed in several areas around their camps to act as buffers between any mobs and the installations. PTI