Mirwaiz Faces Protests Again, This Time in Kolkata by ABVP

Posted on November 28, 2010


Kolkata: [28 Nov 2010] Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq today faced protests by members of student wing of RSS who hurled eggs at his vehicle here and displayed banners, prompting police to arrest 25 of them, three days after he was heckled by right-wing activists in Chandigarh.

The Mirwaiz was coming out of an auditorium after attending a seminar on ‘Kashmir-A Way Out’ when members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), who were holding banners and shoes tied to a stick, threw eggs at his car, besides shouting slogans.

The banners which read ‘Bharat Ek Hai’ and ‘Mirwaiz Murdabad’. The 37-year-old Hurriyat leader was whisked away by security personnel as he moved out from the building where the seminar was organised by the Centre for Peace and Progress.

The police later arrested 25 ABVP members.

On November 25, the Mirwaiz and another separatist leader Bilal Lone were heckled allegedly by activists of right-wing Hindu organisations and Kashmiri Pandits during a seminar in Chandigarh after which 21 people were arrested for rioting.

Earlier, replying to a question at the seminar from former army chief Shankar Roychowdhury on whether he considered Kashmir a part of India, the Mirwaiz said, “no, it is not. It is a dispute and the problem needs to be addressed.

The core issue of Kashmir is neither development, nor employment rather it is the sentiment of freedom and that problem needs to be addressed if the government wants a permanent peaceful situation in the Valley,” he said.

On a dialogue with the Centre, the Hurriyat leader said, “we are also in favour of dialogue but there should be conducive atmosphere for it. We cannot have dialogues in the midst of turmoil and so we had given four proposals to the government of which none has been accepted.”

He said that the Hurriyat wanted repeal of “black laws”, withdrawal of forces, release of all political prisoners and accountability on the issue of human rights violations “but so far not a single proposal has been accepted or implemented.”

He said, “act on suggestions the Hurriyat has given and then we can move forward”.

Countering the Mirwaiz, Roychowdhury said, “Hurriyat asks for ‘azadi’, Omar Abdullah asks for autonomy and Mehbooba Mufti asks for self-rule and everything can be done but under the framework of Indian Constitution.”

He asserted that “there is no place for secession and the people of India will never allow this. Kashmir is a part of India and it will continue to be so. The fate of Kashmir cannot be decided by the whims and fancies of some people like the Huriyat and the design of Pakistan.

Pakistan is trying to take the revenge of Bangladesh and we will never allow it to happen,” Roychowdhury said.

Former mayor of the city Bikas Ranjan Bhattacharya said if the people of Kashmir didn’t have faith on Indian constitution then such a large number of people would not have turned out for the general elections.

But the Hurriyat leader said, “election is an administrative process and it has nothing to do with the history and the sentiment of the people of Kashmir.

Kashmir’s problem is a political problem and it has to be resolved politically. Kashmir’s problem can be resolved either through UN resolution or through dialogue and if it is dialogue then the people of Kashmir, Pakistan and India all have to be made accountable and they all have to sit together to resolve the problem,” he said.

He also felt that no case should be registered against writer-activist Arundhati Roy for her remarks on Kashmir and said she had not stated anything new.