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Monday, 2 June 2008

Hindutava and Democracy

Syed Ali Shah Geelani
Mr Geelani is a well known separatist leader

A prominent separatist leader in Indian-administered Kashmir, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, has been prevented from visiting the golden temple in Amritsar.

Mr Geelani hoped to become the first Kashmiri separatist leader to attend a function to commemorate the storming of the temple in June 1984.

He was invited to attend by the Sikh community.

The golden temple is the Sikh community's most sacred site. Hundreds died when it was stormed by the army.

Their operation, named Bluestar.The operation lasted more than a week and it was a massacre of Sikhs and a complete destruction of the shrine .

The BBC's Altaf Hussain in Srinagar says that Mr Geelani was invited by the Punjab-based Dal Khalsa party to be the chief guest at the commemorative function on 4 June.

The participants will speak on the motion that "minority" places of worship are unsafe in India.

But the authorities placed Mr Geelani under house arrest and have deployed security personnel outside his home since Sunday night to stop him from going.

Mr Geelani leads a hardline faction of the separatist All Party Hurriyat Conference. He has regularly been put under house arrest by Indian forces.

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