Hurriyat Leader Was Murdered, Not Killed By Police

21 August 2008
The Times of India


New Delhi: Hurriyat leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz, whose shooting during the 'LoC march' organized by Kashmir separatists on August 11 gave an explosive turn to the agitation, was not killed by a police or army bullet. In a shocking revelation, national security adviser M K Narayanan told the Union Cabinet on Thursday that it was not at all clear who had fired the fatal bullet at Aziz, a former Al Jehad leader who was part of the march on the Srinagar-Muzzaffarabad highway. The NSA also pointed out that there were many rivalries at work in the Kashmir Valley. Narayanan was responding to a question by Union steel minister Ramvilas Paswan, who pointed out that it was rather unusual for a leader to be killed in police action. Typically, leaders in such situations are surrounded by workers and never directly exposed in an incident of the sort that took place as the marchers approached Uri. Also, at the first signs of tough action, the leaders were whisked away with some help of the local cop always mindful of their stature. Narayanan said that investigations have established that the bullets which felled the separatist leader were not fired by security forces. NSA disclosure points to Pak hand in unrest The disturbing disclosure ties in with the suspicion that Pakistan-backed separatists have been stoking passion to put their agenda back on centrestage. Importantly, Pakistan-backed elements have organised assassinations and then blame these on India to further their interests, killings of Mirwaiz Omar Farooq's father and Abdul Ghani Lone being the two cases in point. Also, Hurriyat leaders remain bitterly divided, with all the unity efforts coming unstuck after temporary truces. There are no clear accounts of the situation prevailing during the move to transport trucks carrying fruits across the LoC but the death of Aziz and other civilians became a rallying point for separatists and lead anti-India groups abroad to condemn Indian 'state repression.'