Separatists Finally Condemn Sopore Killings2 February 2011
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: Militants and separatists on Wednesday condemned the killing of two sisters in Sopore district by unidentified gunmen on Monday evening and criticised Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah for taking a dig at them for their “muted response” earlier. “It’s a heinous and barbaric act. The gruesome incident has shocked the United Jehad Council (UJC) leadership. This seems to be the handiwork of Indian agencies,” said Syed Sadqat Hussain, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir based spokesman of the UJC, a conglomerate of militants’ outfits active in Kashmir. Syed Salahuddin, the chief of Hizbul Mujahideen, heads the UJC. Syed Ali Shah Geelani, chairman of the hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference, who is in New Delhi for medical treatment, also issued a statement condemning the killing of the sisters. “The incident is the handiwork of the enemies of the Kashmir liberation movement… India has been hell bent on defaming the just struggle of the Kashmiri people and the Sopore killings are also a part of the same nefarious design,” said Geelani, 82. Hurriyat leaders from moderate faction, including Shabbir Ahmad Shah and Nayeem Ahmad Khan, demanded an inquiry into the killings. The spokesman of moderate Hurriyat group, headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, said: “Such abominable acts of violence, whoever commits it, is denounced by the Hurriyat. Such acts should be condemned at every level.” The spokesman lashed out at Abdullah for his jibe and said, “We condemn all innocent killings. Those who have their hands red should not issue statements asking for condemnation of such acts.” Suspected militants took away the sisters, Akhtara, 19, and Arifa, 17, from their home in Chinkipora, 55 km north of Srinagar, and shot them. The police blame the Lashkar-eTayyeba for the killings.