Chaos As Mirwaiz Is Heckled At Chandigarh Seminar

Chaos As Mirwaiz Is Heckled At Chandigarh Seminar

25 November 2010
The Hindu


Chandigarh: All Party Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was heckled and manhandled at a seminar here, allegedly by activists of right-wing Hindu organisations and Kashmiri Pandits, on Thursday. As Mr. Farooq started his address on ‘Jammu and Kashmir problem in the context of Indo-Pak,' a section of the audience objected to his speech calling it ‘anti-Indian' and tried to attack him. One person who attempted to attack the leader was immediately taken away but there was complete chaos inside the venue for close to an hour as the protesters shouted slogans against Mr. Farooq, the Hurriyat Conference and Pakistan; threw stones and hurled flower pots. The organisers immediately threw a protective ring round Mr. Farooq and he escaped unhurt. The police later detained 10 people and the seminar resumed after an hour. In his speech, Mr. Farooq laid emphasis on the involvement of people of Kashmir. “Last few months have shown us that youngsters are ready to pick stones against bullets. We have to accept that they are representing the anger of four generations of Kashmir which feel cheated and are demanding peace.” Any dialogue between India and Pakista or between the Central government and the State that excluded the Kashmir population “will never provide a solution because the issue is [one] of human aspirations and political decisions.” Mr. Farooq demanded that black laws in the region be lifted, the presence ofarmed forces reduced, human rights restored and political prisoners released. Zameel Qazim, general secretary, International Democratic Party (IDP), which organised the seminar, said: “The attack was not a reaction to any statement. Mirwaiz just started speaking when they attacked him without provocation.” But groups of Kashmiri Pandits who attended the seminar accused the Mirwaiz of provoking the protesters. “How is it that a man who is giving anti-India speeches is provided protection and Indians who try to stop him, are thrown into jail,” asked Nancy Ganju, member of the Kashmir Sahaya Sabha.


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