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Published in the 1-15 Apr 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

SPECIAL REPORT

Police cancels public meeting in honour of Geelani 

The Milli Gazette Online 

New Delhi: Delhi Police on 12 March denied permission to Asif Mohammad Khan, councillor from Okhla, to organise a public meeting today to honour SAR Geelani who survived an attack on his life recently. "The public meeting cannot be allowed apprehending law and order problems and communal tension," Praveer Ranjan, DCP (South) said in a statement on 11 March. The DCP directed the Councillor to cancel the proposed meeting otherwise legal action would be initiated against the defaulters, it said. Khan had proposed to organised meeting to honour Geelani and advocate Nandita Haksar at Batla House Chowk in the evening of 12 March. Geelani was acquitted by the Delhi High Court in Parliament attack case.

On the appointed day, hundreds of automatic gun-toting policemen surrounded the Batla House area of South Delhi to prevent the meeting by force if need be.

A follow-up meeting was held at JNU by the Democratic Students Union at Sutlej Hostel on 20 March in which MG editor Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan and Advocate Nandita Haksar spoke about Islamophobia and the war on terrorism.
Advocate Haksar said that Muslims must have the space to say and live according to their convictions and it is the duty of the majority community to make this happen. She said that Islamophobia has now become a recognised form of racism. She said that instead of probing the people who are really behind the Parliament attack, the police is trying to frame a Delhi University lecturer whose crime is that he is both a Muslim and a Kashmiri."

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