Says I am not hurt
Sheikh Imran Bashir
Srinagar: Chairman of Hurriyat Conference moderate Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Bilal Lone were on Thursday manhandled by a group of Kashmiri Pandits and Vishwa Hindu Parishad(VHP) supporters, who were part of the audience, were behind the fracas in Punjab’s Chandigarh region.
Commotion broke out when the group barged into the seminar hall and dashed towards the dais where the separatist leaders were seated, eyewitnesses said.
During the pandemonium, some of the activists manhandled the two separatist leaders, they said, adding police immediately stepped in and cordoned off the dais. The incident took place when the Mirwaiz started addressing a seminar on Kashmir and Indo-Pak relations.
Reports reaches to Agence India Press says that Farooq was attacked by displaced Kashmiri Pandits and right-wing Hindu activists who objected to his anti-India comments at the seminar.
At least a couple of protestors jumped on the conference table and attacked him. He was sharing the ideas with leaders of other political parties, including the general secretary of Shiromani Akali Dal Prem Singh Chandumajra, reports said.
The organisers immediately jumped in to save Mirwaiz. There was total chaos inside the hall for close to 30 minutes as the protestors shouted slogans against Mirwaiz, Hurriyat Conference and Pakistan.
The police later detained 20 activists, including some women.
Even after the seminar concluded, police had a tough time escorting Mirwaiz to his car. A police Gypsy escorted his car.
Meanwhile, tension gripped parts of Srinagar as the news of attack on Mirwaiz spread here on Thursday with groups of youth taking to streets shouting pro-Mirwaiz slogans.
As the word spread shopkeepers in Rajouri Kadal, Nowhatta and areas adjacent to Nallahmar, downed their shutters and soon traffic too went off the roads,” reports said.
Situation in these areas was tense when this report last came in.
Meanwhile a police spokesman said the ‘rumor that Mirwaiz has got injured at a function in Chandigarh is totally false’. He said the Mirwaiz is safe and the miscreants have been arrested.
“I am not hurt. I am totally fine. We were sitting here to discuss things. If they had something to share, then they could raise the issue and it can be debated. For every problem there is a solution and it was the main aim of this round table conference,” Mirwaiz said.
While on the situation Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told Agence India Press over on phone that there are many forces who are trying to mislead people but we will continue our efforts. People of India have big stake in the issue of Kashmir and they have to come up to solve this problem. We would go to various places and present the real picture of Kashmir.
“I cannot comment on anything about the security arrangements as it is the duty of the organisers. But here in Chandigarh, I am quite satisfied with the security part. See, you cannot stop anybody if he is coming with some wrong intentions,” he added.
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