Delhi University lecturer S.A.R. Geelani, who was on a three-day visit to Kerala at the invitation of different Muslim organizations, was prevented by the police from addressing a public meeting at Kochi on Sunday.
Geelani, who was an accused in the Parliament attack case, was acquitted by the Supreme Court. However, the Sangh Parivar organizations have been carrying on a vicious campaign against him. Recently a leader of a Parivar youth organization had spat on him when he was attending a seminar in the university campus.
Geelani was to have addressed a public meeting at Alappuzha on Friday under the auspices of the Kerala Jamaat Council. Before the meeting began, the police withdrew the permission granted earlier and also cancelled the permit for use of mike. This forced the organizers to abandon the plan for a public meeting and hold a meeting in a hall.
On Saturday, Geelani was the chief guest at a human rights conference convened by the Jamaat Council at the Press Club hall. The conference, which I inaugurated, went off peacefully.
On Sunday, Geelani reached Kochi to speak at a function organised by the Minority Rights Watch. The police did not allow him to go to the venue of the meeting. He was also not allowed to go to Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer’s house to meet him.
It is reasonable to assume that the police action followed a political decision by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which heads the State government.
In a statement, Geelani said, “Under the pressure of some lumpen elements and from Sangh Parivar fascists, may be 20-25 people were protesting, police instead of allowing us to exercise our democratic right of gathering peacefully and discussing, the police seems to be encouraging the fascist elements and endangering the democratic space in India and the future of democracy
“I condemn this illegal and undemocratic attitude of police and the government of the state act against those police officers who are responsible for denying the people their democratic right and encouraging the fascists in the state.
“This lumpenism has become the culture of sangh parivar they have demonstrated it while killing Prof. Sabarwal at Ujjain and recent massacre Of Christians at Orissa, Kandhmal, raping nuns and the recent incidents at Karnataka as well.
“This is sheer fascism and terrorism which should not be tolerated and since sangh parivar claims that it represents the Indian culture, democratic loving people of India are duty bound to come out and condemn this fascism in unequivocal terms.
“Q) CPM who claims to be the champions of minority rights are leading the government in Kerala, what is your comment about today’s incidents in this particular situation of Kerala?
“Innocent Muslims in North India, Maharashtra, Gujarath are being victimised in the name of terrorism, so far this was not happening in Kerala. Unfortunately recent arrests of innocent Muslim youths makes it clear and exposes the claim of Government in Kerala of their being democratic and secular, I hope that good sense prevails and the people at the helm of affairs will take stock of the situation and refrain from victimising innocent Muslim youths.”