June 3, 2008 / 11:47 AM / 11 years ago

Geelani put under house arrest - police

Syed Ali Shah Geelani, chairman of the hardliner faction of Kashmir's Hurriyat Conference, seen in Srinagar in this August 3, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

SRINAGAR (Reuters) - Syed Ali Shah Geelani, a top Kashmiri separatist leader, said on Tuesday he had been put under house arrest to stop him from attending a function to commemorate the Indian army’s storming of Sikhism’s holiest shrine, the Golden Temple, in 1984.

Geelani was invited by Dal Khalsa, a Sikh party, to be the chief guest at the June 4 function in Amritsar, but police asked him on Monday not to stir out of his home without permission.

Geelani is backed by most Muslim militant groups fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, where a 20-year-long insurgency has killed tens of thousands of people.

A police officer confirmed Geelani was under house arrest, but did not say why.

“I was invited by Dal Khalsa, but yesterday police asked me not to leave my home,” Geelani told a news conference at his residence, which was guarded by policemen.

Indian soldiers stormed the Golden Temple in June 1984 to root out Sikh militants fighting for an independent homeland, a conflict that resulted in the murder of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards, as revenge for ordering the raid.

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