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Page last updated at 18:07 GMT, Monday, 2 June 2008 19:07 UK

Separatist in Golden Temple ban

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 a separatist Sikh party.

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

The operation, named Bluestar, was targeted against militants believed to be hiding in the temple premises.

The operation lasted more than a week and civilians and militants were among the casualties.

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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