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Separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani meets Yashwant Sinha led delegation
On Tuesday, separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani met a five-member delegation led by senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha at his residence in Hyderpora, Srinagar.

The five-member team also included former bureaucrat Wajahat Habibullah, ex-Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak, journalist Bharat Bhushan and activist Sushobha Barve.

Geelani, who had agreed to meet the delegation, on September 4, refused to meet Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and other non-BJP MPs. The MPs were part of an all-party delegation on a visit to Kashmir and had decided to meet Geelani as well.

The delegation led by Sinha are also expected to meet other separatist leaders, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yaseen Malik.

Mirwaiz who had been detained for two months has been released but has been put under house arrest. Malik, who also was in jail has been shifted to a hospital in Srinagar after his health deteriorated.

"We came here for humanity. Our motto is to share the grievances and pain (of Kashmiri people). I hope the state of unrest will be resolved soon," Sinha told IANS.

When asked if they had been invited by the separatists, Sinha said, "We do not have an invitation (from Geelani). We had requested (for a meeting) and we are going to see him."

Sinha also made it clear that they were not a part of any delegation but were part of an independent initiative. Other then the separatist leaders, the delegation in its three day visit, is also expected to meet civil society and trade groups including the Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) and the Kashmir Centre for Social and Developmental Studies (KCSDS), Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Governor N.N. Vohra.

This is the latest attempt to break the logjam between Kashmir's separatist groups and the government. Kashmir has been shut down due to protests for 108 days now since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

In the clashes between protestors and the security forces, at least 92 persons have been killed so far and over 12,000 injured.

In a statemet, Geelani-led All Parties Hurriyat Conference said, "Geelani reminded the delegation of the historical perspective of the Kashmir issue, pending for its final resolution since 1947."

The statement also said that the Hurriyat demanded that all arrested people should be released and cases against them withdrawn.

Police have so far arrested more than 6,000 youths involved in stone-pelting and more than 400 political activists and separatist leaders have also been booked under the Public Safety Act.

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