Sajjad Backs Bhat's Admission On Lone, Farooq's Killing10 January 2011
The Indian Express
Srinagar: Separatist leader Sajjad Lone threw his weight behind ex-Hurriyat chairman Abdul Gani Bhat for his stand that 'our own men' killed Mirwaiz Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone', observing that time has come for people to decide whether they are with the 'murderers or murdered.' Sajjad, son of Lone, appreciated Bhat for speaking the truth on the killings of the two separatist leaders and for showing the way and said it was never late to speak the 'truth.' Bhat, who once chaired the separatist amalgam All-Parties Hurriyat Conference, recently created a flutter by saying that two separatist leaders and his own brother were killed by 'our own people' and not the security forces. Bhat had said time had come to speak the truth about the killers of Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq, who was killed 21 years ago, Abdul Gani Lone, who was shot dead in 2002, and his own brother Mohammad Sultan Bhat, who was murdered in 1995. In a first person account published in a local daily at Srinagar, Lone recalled the events of the day when his father was killed on May 21, 2002. '...and lifted the shroud and there he was-my Dad-lifeless, stone cold, eyes closed, hair curled back, in a state of eternal slumber. My Dadís journey of life had ended.' 'I got up filled with anger and began to shout hysterically and out came from my mouth the infamous statement blaming the ISI for my fatherís killing. I was unmindful of the TV crews and their cameras. And in the evening it was all across the TV screens,' wrote Lone in his first person account published in Greater Kashmir. He recalled that in the wee hours of May 22, 2002 when he was planning the funeral his mother called him inside a room. 'I found her behaviour strange. Her composure saddened me. I felt she was not distraught enough....she held my hands and looked deep into my eyes and (asked me to) retract the statement I made last night.' Lone recalls that he had refused buckling under pressure and made it clear to his mother that he was not going to retract. '...she sobbed and sobbed (and said) I have lost Lone sahib. I will not lose you. I will not allow a second dead body with bullets in this house,' he wrote while reasoning out about his retraction of statement. 'I had lost a father not to disease or old age but to bullets of the brute. In retrospect I donít think I should have accused an institution of the killing. But Prof. Bhat has shown the way, when he stated that it was our own people who killed Lone Sahib. 'For all those cynics and sermonizers who are questioning his timing, his intentions, I-a son who lost his father to bullets - would want to put my appreciation on record. Truth however bitter has to prevail. It is never late to speak the truth,' he wrote. 'Lone Sahib, Mirwaiz Sahib have left this world. We cannot get them back. But if we do not learn any lessons from their killings we will be doing a great disservice to the very nation whose aspirations we claim to espouse. There is nothing like a good murderer and a bad murderer... 'The culture of unaccountability, impunity cultivated and nourished by a select group of intellectuals, thinkers has only emboldened the killers to indulge in more heinous acts, aimed at disempowering the Kashmiri voice and coercing it into submission. It is time that the select band, decide whose side they are on - the murderer or the murdered,' he said.