Mirwaiz heckled at Kolkata for `anti-India` speech

Moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Sunday faced protests by members of BJP`s student wing who hurled eggs at his vehicle here and diplayed banners, prompting police to arrest 25 of them.

Last Updated: Nov 29, 2010, 00:55 AM IST

Kolkata: Moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Sunday faced protests by members of BJP`s student wing who hurled eggs at his vehicle here and displayed banners, prompting police to arrest 25 of them, three days after he was heckled by right-wing activists in Chandigarh.

The Mirwaiz was coming out of an auditorium after
attending a seminar on `Kashmir- A Way Out` when members of
Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), who were holding
banners and shoes tied to a stick, threw eggs at his car,
besides shouting slogans.

The banners which read `Bharat Ek Hai` and `Mirwaiz
Murdabad`. The 37-year-old Hurriyat leader was whisked away
by security personnel as he moved out from the building where
the seminar was organised by the Centre for Peace and
Progress.

The police later arrested 25 ABVP members.

On November 25, the Mirwaiz and another separatist
leader Bilal Lone were heckled allegedly by activists of
right-wing Hindu organisations and Kashmiri Pandits during a
seminar in Chandigarh after which 21 people were arrested for
rioting.

Earlier, replying to a question at the seminar from
former army chief Shankar Roychowdhury on whether he
considered Kashmir a part of India, the Mirwaiz said, "No, it
is not. It is a dispute and the problem needs to be addressed.

"The core issue of Kashmir is neither development,
nor employment rather it is the sentiment of freedom and that
problem needs to be addressed if the government wants a
permanent peaceful situation in the Valley," he said.

On a dialogue with the Centre, the Hurriyat leader
said, "We are also in favour of dialogue but there should be
conducive atmosphere for it. We cannot have dialogues in the
midst of turmoil and so we had given four proposals to the
government of which none has been accepted."

He said that the Hurriyat wanted repeal of "black
laws", withdrawal of forces, release of all political
prisoners and accountability on the issue of human rights
violations "but so far not a single proposal has been accepted
or implemented."

He said, "Act on suggestions the Hurriyat has given
and then we can move forward".

Countering the Mirwaiz, Roychowdhury said, "Hurriyat
asks for `azadi`, Omar Abdullah asks for autonomy and Mehbooba
Mufti asks for self-rule and everything can be done but under
the framework of Indian Constitution."

He asserted that "there is no place for secession and
the people of India will never allow this. Kashmir is a part
of India and it will continue to be so. The fate of Kashmir
cannot be decided by the whims and fancies of some people like
the Huriyat and the design of Pakistan.

"Pakistan is trying to take the revenge of Bangladesh
and we will never allow it to happen," Roychowdhury said.

Former mayor of the city Bikas Ranjan Bhattacharya said
if the people of Kashmir didn`t have faith on Indian
constitution then such a large number of people would not have
turned out for the general elections.

But the Hurriyat leader said, "Election is an
administrative process and it has nothing to do with the
history and the sentiment of the people of Kashmir.

"Kashmir`s problem is a political problem and it has
to be resolved politically. Kashmir`s problem can be resolved
either through UN resolution or through dialogue and if it is
dialogue then the people of Kashmir, Pakistan and India all
have to be made accountable and they all have sit together to
resolve the problem," he said.

He also felt that no case should be registered against
writer-activist Arundhati Roy for her remarks on Kashmir and
said she had not stated anything new.

PTI