Mirwaiz Calls Attackers 'intruders In Freedom Struggle'
4 June 2004
The Daily Excelsior
New Delhi: Reacting first time after the attack on his residence and uncle, senior separatist leader and Awami Action Committee (AAC) chairman, Mirwaiz Omar Farooq today termed the twin attacks as manifestation of 'brazen frustration of anti-movement, anti-Islam and anti-unity' forces. Mirwaiz castigated these forces as 'infiltrators' in the rank and file of the ongoing struggle under the guise of Islam while vowing to continue 'freedom struggle' at all costs. In a hard- hitting speech during the Friday prayers at historical Jamia Masjid in old Srinagar city this afternoon, Mirwaiz first time reacted to the assassination bid on his uncle and senior AAC functionary, Moulvi Mushtaq Ahmed and grenade attack on his posh Nigeen residence calling the attackers as forces 'inimical' to Islam, ongoing struggle and unity. Suspected militants on May 29 shot and seriously wounded Mirwaiz's uncle and one of his guiding spirits, Moulvi Mushtaq Ahmed while he was praying in a mosque near the AAC headquarters at Rajouri Kadal Srinagar. After only about two hours the same day, militants launched a rifle grenade attack on his residence at Nigeen in Hazratbal locality. Moulvi Mushtaq is still admitted in the SKIMS Soura. A militant outfit, Save Kashmir Movement had claimed the responsibility of the twin attacks. The former Hurriyat Conference chairman had not commented on the attacks eversince and choose to challenge the attackers from his lair, the historic Jamia Masjid. 'Forces inimical to ongoing freedom struggle, Islam and unity were frustrated and depressed to see the participation of public in the functions related to Martyrs week especially on May 21. From the day one, these forces have tried their best of resources to sabotage our sacred movement and with the mask of Islam and pro-movement, have infiltrated into the rank and file of the movement for their trivial interests,' Mirwaiz said and his supporters reacted by chanting slogans jou hum sey takraya gha paash paash hojayega (Whosoever takes on to us would get shattered). According to Mirwaiz, these elements were very much active in the field. 'These forces are calling shots now and tried to assassinate the senior party (AAC) leader and my uncle, Moulvi Mushtaq Ahmed on May 29. Immediately after that, they also hurled a grenade on my residence. I must tell you, by these nerveless attacks these forces think that we will keep aloof from our sacred mission, for which we have given immense sacrifices since 1931,' he continued. He asserted that his party would not succumb to any pressure or intimidation from these forces and said that AAC would continue its efforts towards the honourable resolution of the Kashmir issue. He said that AAC leaders would also travel to foreign countries to attract the attention of the world community towards Kashmir. The AAC chief stressed that AAC was a 'power' representing the sentiments of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. 'AAC is not a paper group but people's power. We will take all those steps, which are in the broader interest of the people of Jammu and Kashmir representing their sentiments and aspirations,' he elaborated with people yelling traditional slogan in Kashmir, hum kya chehta azadi (We want freedom). Mirwaiz emphasised that he would continue to represent the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir at all costs. 'I clarify here before you, God willing, we'll not only represent and protect the aspirations of the people but also would expose in public anti-movement forces, conspirators and hidden enemies in our ranks,' he added. He said that people's reaction to the attacks was a 'big treasure' for them and appealed to his supporters and party activists to observe restraint in the larger interest of the ongoing movement. Mirwaiz also thanked all religious, political, social, governments and personalities who sympathised and extended solidarity with the AAC.