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Geelani, Arundhati in trouble
Published on 26 Oct. 2010 9:56 PM IST
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Delhi Police are ready to book hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and writer-activist Arundhati Roy for sedition. However the question that arises is will the Government give political clearance?
Is the Government contemplating action against Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Arundhati Roy for their controversial statements a few days ago at a seminar in Delhi?
After days of debate and criticism- the government may take action against Geelani and Arundhati. They are in trouble for making controversial statements on Kashmir. The Delhi Police are all set to act on charges of sedition but the decision will have to be more political than legal, reports CNN-IBN.
The pitch seems to be queering for Syed Ali shah Geelani and his supporters. Legal opinion given to Government of India suggested that both Geelani and Arundhati Roy can be prosecuted under section 124-A of IPC on charges of sedition.
The legal opinion says that any person who by words or expression of any kind brings or attempts to provoke a feeling of hatred or contempt or disaffection towards government by law is culpable under Section 124 A and this is a punishable offence, where a person can be imprisoned for three years to life imprisonment and a fine can also be imposed.
The maximum punishment under this section is life imprisonment but Geelani remains unfazed.
“I already have 90 cases against me. One more doesn’t make much of a difference,” says Geelani.
Arundhati Roy, who has been opposing the Government on the Naxal issue, continued to test the establishment’s patience. Minutes after she landed in Srinagar, Arundhati Roy repeated that Kashmir was never a part of India - a statement that the Jammu-Kashmir Police is now examining to explore legal action.
“Every one will have to follow the law,” says Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari.
The Government is treading with caution and the final decision may be political. Next few days will clarify the mind of the political establishment.
Arundhati: the goddess
of controversial quotes
Writer-activist Arundhati Roy has once again stirred up the hornet’s nest with her comments on Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to the Union prompting the Centre to mull booking her for sedition.
Here are some of Roy’s most controversial comments:
1. “Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian Government has accepted this.”
2. “I write this from Srinagar, Kashmir. This morning’s papers say that I may be arrested on charges of sedition for what I have said at recent public meetings on Kashmir. I said what millions of people here say every day. I said what I, as well as other commentators have written and said for years.”
3. “Anybody who cares to read the transcripts of my speeches will see that they were fundamentally a call for justice. I spoke about justice for the people of Kashmir who live under one of the most brutal military occupations in the world; for Kashmiri Pandits who live out the tragedy of having been driven out of their homeland; for Dalit soldiers killed in Kashmir whose graves I visited on garbage heaps in their villages in Cuddalore; for the Indian poor who pay the price of this occupation in material ways and who are now learning to live in the terror of what is becoming a police state.”
4. “Pity the nation that has to silence its writers for speaking their minds. Pity the nation that needs to jail those who ask for justice, while communal killers, mass murderers, corporate scamsters, looters, rapists, and those who prey on the poorest of the poor, roam free.”
5. “Our elite say we are a super power. Twenty five per cent of country’s total wealth is with a hundred people and they say it is development. Tribal land is being acquired for industrialization and the voice of tribals is suppressed if they protest. Is it development?”
6. “I don’t see both as equally guilty and I don’t want to justify anything. I see a government breaking every sort of law in the Constitution that it has about tribal people and assault on the homelands of millions of people and some, there is a resistance force that is resisting that.”
7. “I see the government absolutely, as the major aggressor. As far as the Maoists are concerned, of course, their ideology is an ideology of overthrowing the Indian state with violence. However, I don’t believe that if the Indian state was a just state, if ordinary people had some minor hope for justice, the Maoists would just be a marginal group of militants with no popular appeal.”
8. “I perceive them (Maoists) as a group of people who have at a most militant end in the bandwidth of resistance movements that exist in the cities, in the planes and in the forests.”
9. “I have been saying this for few months now that you have to understand that the government needs this war. It needs this war to clear the land, to hand over, to actualise these MoUs that have been signed. If you read the business papers, they are very clear about that… It needs the war but it needs to keep this smiling benign mask of democracy. So, it offers talks on the one hand and undermines it on the other.
10. “Gandhian way of opposition needs an audience, which is absent here. People have debated long before choosing this form of struggle.”
11. “I am on this side of line. I do not care...pick me up put me in jail.”
12. “What the government calls Maoists corridor, is in fact MoU-ist corridor. You have an MoU (memorandum of understanding) on every mountain, river -- MoUs signed by biggest corporations in the world who are waiting to gain hold of the resources.”
13. “If I was a person who is being dispossessed, whose wife has been raped, who is being pushed of their land and who is being faced with this ‘police force’, I would say that I am justified in taking up arms. If that is the only way I have to defend myself.”
14. “There should be unconditional talks with the Maoists.”

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