January 2007 News

Mirwaiz undeterred by blast outside his Srinagar home

15 January 2007
Indo-Asian News Service

New Delhi: Separatist guerrillas Monday hurled a grenade at the heavily guarded house of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in an upscale area of Srinagar, but the chief of the moderate faction of Jammu and Kashmir's Hurriyat Conference said he would not be cowed down by the attack.Police said no one was injured in the explosion, in the backyard of the house in Nageen locality, 10 km from the city centre Lal Chowk.The Mirwaiz, who is in the winter capital Jammu ahead of the Hurriyat's visit to Pakistan, responded by telling reporters that his group would continue to work for 'solution of Kashmir process through dialogue'.'We know who the people behind the grenade attack are. But they should know that these tactics have become obsolete and people will not bow to such frightening means,' he said in a not so veiled reference to the general strike call on Wednesday given by the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani.Geelani has been completely opposed to talks between India and Pakistan and the Mirwaiz group's visit to Pakistan.'Our mission to have a solution acceptable and as per aspirations of the people of Kashmir will be on course. We will not be cowed down by such attacks,' the Mirwaiz said.Earlier, addressing a crowded press conference, he said he was pleased with the many positives in the peace process between India and Pakistan. Kashmiri participation, he said, would help bolster it further.He stressed the need for an internal ceasefire by India. 'If that happens, that will ease our task in ensuring that militants also respond in a positive fashion. The internal ceasefire by the government can lay ground for the ceasefire by militants. We can work on that.'Giving details of the grenade explosion inside his house, police officials in Srinagar said the 'rifle grenade' fell in the backyard. But no one was wounded.Paramilitary and police reinforcements rushed to the spot and the area was cordoned off. Searches were conducted in the area but no one was arrested. The Hurriyat leader's house was similarly attacked two years ago.


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