SRINAGAR: Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani has expressed shock over the reported communal clashes and in his appeal he has stressed both communities to maintain mutual brotherhood and thwart evil designs of sectarian elements. As per a statement Geelani while strongly castigating role played by VDC members in Jammu region, has said that their very existence is the root cause of all problems in the region. “Members affiliated with these committees are responsible for present turmoil and are involved in killing, rape, arson and extortion. However, in order to deviate the attention from their ill designs, some elements for their vote bank politics are hell-bent to sow seeds of communalism,” he said. Geelani has said that they were in touch with the respected personalities in the region and are collecting the details. “We would apprise people and won’t allow these elements to play with sentiments of people. People in Jammu Kashmir since last 65 years are striving for self determination and have presented unprecedented sacrifices to restore their fundamental and birth right of freedom,” he said. While strongly lashing at authorities he has alleged that India and its agencies are trying to portray present freedom struggle as a sectarian strife against a particular community and at times while maligning the present struggle, attribute it to the result of insurgency being operated from other side of the border. “Both the communities since time immemorial have maintained mutual harmony and brotherhood. However, some vested communal powers are hell-bent to tarnish the fabric of mutual brotherhood.” Referring to the excesses perpetrated by local VDCs, Geelani has said, “People in Jammu region for last several years face worst type of atrocities being committed by VDC members and it is since last few months that they have unleashed a reign of terror in the region and are involved in target killings, rape and extortion.” Geelani has blamed civil and police authorities for their negligence and claimed they have failed to provide security to the people. Geelani in his appeal to both communities, has stressed to avoid all such activities which may prove detrimental for mutual brotherhood. While expressing his grief over the losses to precious lives and properties, he extended his sympathy and expressed his solidarity with the effected families.