The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Christian Militant Group Suspected Behind Attack on Geelani

Pramod Kumar Singh/ New Delhi
Friday, February 11, 2005

With the modus operandi of the person who shot at SAR Geelani, pointing towards the involvement of a North East militant group, the pitch in the sensational attack has been further queered. The weapon, a 7.65 calibre pistol used by the assailant, is commonly used by North East militant groups.

Unfortunately, the person who can shed light on the issue, Geelani himself, is still unfit to make a statement, as the three bullets lodged in his body are yet to be extricated.

But on the request of the police, the AIIMS late on Thursday night agreed to set up a thre-member medical board to ascertain the nature of Geelani's injuries.

Unless the bullets are extricated from Geelani's body, they cannot be matched with the empties found in the second search conducted by the Crime Branch.

Sources said that police have identified a mystery woman, who appears to be involved in the well-thought out plan to attack Geelani. Geelani was a regular at Ms Haksar's residence and it was a well known fact that Geelani was visiting her to discuss his case which was being heard almost on a daily basis in the Supreme Court.

Sleuths of the Inter State Cell (ISC) quizzed Haksar and her husband Sebastian Muviah San Hongray regarding the incident at their residence. Sebastian Muviah San Hongray, a Thankul Naga and an activist of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issac-Muviah group), was present in their residence at 163, Vasant Enclave on Tuesday night when Geelani was shot. As a matter of fact, Hongary had taken Geelani to AIIMS in his Scorpio jeep.

But police is flummoxed over how Geelani managed to walk up to the residence of Haksar after being shot thrice. Geelani staggered over 60 yards instead of falling at the spot. It was comparatively dark when the unidentified assailant fired at Geelani and also managed to escape to safety.

"If Geelani did not fall on the ground, how would the assailant who was facing him while firing know that he had actually shot the man. What is another puzzle is why Geelani did not shout for help after being hit. Neighbours claim they did not hear an shouts for help. These are some questions which needs to be addressed", a senior police officer added.

Most importantly, the police could not find the empty cartridges during the preliminary search, but at 2 am, five empties were found at a distance by the Crime Branch. Most importantly, there were no blood stains despite Geelani being shot thrice and walking up to 60 yards.

The police is also investigating whether Geelani was shot somewhere else and later dumped near Haksar's residence, since the first call to the police was made at 10.10 pm by the duty constable of AIIMS alerting that Geelani had been shot, the police official added.

Meanwhile two more persons have told the police that they heard the gunshots. Ms Juhi Kaul, daughter of former Director General of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) Gautam Kaul, who is the next door neighbour of Haksar, on Thursady told the police that she heard the gunshots. Vinay Bhandola, a Merchant Navy officer, who lived in the same locality, also told the police that he heard the shots being fired. Their statements have matched with that of Colonel Kishan Thapa, who had told the police about the gunshots which apparently were caused by a pistol.

Police have also picked holes in the statements of Ms Nandita Haksar given to Delhi Police. Contradictions have been found in the statements of Ms Haksar given to the police after the incident and her recorded statements by the investigators.

Initial investigations have not ruled out the involvement of certain persons with whom Geelani had enmity. Senior police officials said that Geelani's wife, Arifa and his brother, Bismillah were questioned about persons, who harboured ill-will toward Geelani. A Delhi Police team has been sent to the Kashmir Valley on the basis of certain leads and the cellphone details of Geelani.

The investigators are looking for persons, who could have harboured enmity towards Geelani. The police is investigating whether Geelani had any feud with any Kashmiri group or he had entered into an argument with people who disapproved of his ways. Geelani was still unfit to make a statement as the three bullets lodged in his body were yet to be extricated. Doctors treating Geelani at AIIMS reportedly told the police that it will take some time before they could declare him fit for a statement.

"Only he could shed light on the person who followed him and opened fire", a police officer involved in the investigation said. The records of Geelani's cellphone indicate that Ms Haksar called him at around 6 pm on the fateful evening and he reportedly left for her residence at around 8 pm from Zakir Hussain college.


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