In­dia oc­cu­pier of J&K, Pak a friend: Sep­a­ratist leader

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Ab­hishek Saha let­ters@hin­dus­tan­ Tanushree Venka­tra­man tanushree.venka­tra­man@hin­dus­tan­

Sep­a­ratist leader Syed Ali Shah Gee­lani de­scribed In­dia on Fri­day as Kash­mir’s “oc­cu­pier” and thanked Pak­istan for be­ing a “friend” and “well wisher” dur­ing the on­go­ing spell of vi­o­lence in the Val­ley that has left 62 peo­ple dead.

Hours af­ter his press con­fer­ence was blocked by lo­cal author­i­ties, Gee­lani re­leased a let­ter say­ing Kash­mir has never been as close to “free­dom” as it was now.

“Since the mar­tyr­dom of com­man­der Burhan, there is no vil­lage and no town where peo­ple have not made it abun­dantly clear the only re­la­tion­ship be­tween In­dia and Kash­mir is that of the oc­cu­pier and the oc­cu­pied,” he wrote. “Pak­istan and its peo­ple shared our pain and raised their voice in our sup­port.” A po­lice­man runs amid tear­gas smoke dur­ing a protest against the re­cent killings in Sri­na­gar. Po­lice sur­rounded his res­i­dence and didn’t al­low jour­nal­ists, pho­tog­ra­phers or cam­era­men to pro­ceed.

Twit­ter users woke up on Fri­day morn­ing to al­le­ga­tions made by com­edy star Kapil Sharma that civic of­fi­cers sought a bribe from him when he sought per­mis­sion to build an of­fice. The move, how­ever, back­fired for the ac­tor, who later found him­self at the re­ceiv­ing end of the civic body’s ire.

The pop­u­lar star tagged Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi in a tweet say­ing he was asked to pay Rs5 lakh by the BMC to build his of­fice. In the next tweet he asked, “Yeh hai aapke ache din?” (Are these your happy days?” CM Deven­dra Fad­navis im­me­di­ately took cog­ni­sance and as­sured him stern ac­tion would be taken and that he had di­rected the civic chief to look into the mat­ter. Civic of­fi­cials asked Sharma to fur­nish the names of the of­fi­cers.

How­ever, it was soon noted that Sharma him­self was on the BMC’s radar for unau­tho­rised ex­ten­sions to his ground-plus-two storey of­fice in And­heri (West). He was served a stop-work no­tice by the BMC for the il­le­gal ex­ten­sions in July. It even­tu­ally de­mol­ished them in Au­gust.

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