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Geelani, Mirwaiz, Malik are Azad now: DGP..

For close to two years, they have been forbidden to come out of their homes, and on occasions been put behind bars, but the police now say they are free to go anywhere they like. This freedom though will come for a price: they can’t make an “anti-national” speech or create “a law and order problem.”
S. P. Vaid, the head of the state police, on Thursday told the Greater Kashmir that Syed Ali Geelani, Mohammad Yasin Malik, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the three leaders of Joint Resistance Leadership, are “free to carry out their political and social activities.” “But they have to take the responsibility of not creating any law and order problem. They have to also refrain from making anti-national speeches,” he said.
‘Can go wherever they like but not create law and order problem, make anti-national speeches’
The political decision to lift curbs on the movement of the three leaders comes at a time of serious political crisis facing the Kashmir valley when the state has struggled to pacify the recent surge of anti-government feelings. The move to allow them to go around would be seen as the eventual government acknowledgement of the need to let Hurriyat leaders interact with people and pursue their political goal peacefully.
In recent past, the state apparatus has also struggled to somehow keep the young men of Kashmir from taking up arms against the government, a tendency that has gained traction among the youth across the length and breadth of the state. Many would wonder whether giving freedom to the three senior separatist leaders to travel around is designed to let the leaders convince the young that there was a better and peaceful way of resisting the government than taking up arms.
In recent days, the government had begun to show signs of easing coercive force against the separatist leadership. A few days back, Mohammad Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq were given permission to visit the home of Syed Ali Geelani, where the three had a long discussion after many months of silence.
A separatist leader who was wary of the government’s decision said that New Delhi has somehow realised that the policies of coercion and choking the space had deteriorated the things in Kashmir. “It seems that Delhi has understood the ground realities in Kashmir. It looks like a move aimed at testing waters,” he said.
From Dineshwar Sharma, the Indian government’s special representative for talks, to Rajiv Gauba, the Union Home Secretary, both have in recent days expressed their concern about the trend of local boys joining the ranks of guerrilla outfits in Kashmir. Sharma called it “disturbing.”
Vaid said that Geelani is free to offer Friday prayers anywhere he wishes to and whether the police would remove the security vehicle outside Geelani’s Hyderpora residence or not hardly matters now. “Similarly, Mirwaiz and Yasin too are free to move on their choice. The credit for this decision goes to the government,” he said.
He said the police will gradually do away with the practice of imposing curbs and cutting off the internet. “In this modern era, we can’t deprive people including school and college children from their right to access the internet,” said Vaid.
The largescale protest demonstrations fuelled by the killing of the Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July 2016 was only stifled after the government imprisoned the leadership and used inordinate force on the protestors to win back control in the Kashmir valley.

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