The separatist Hurriyat Conference’s hardline faction, led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, has said New Delhi-based newspapers and TV channels are portraying Kashmiris as intolerant with their “biased reporting and distortion of facts.”

In a statement here on Wednesday, spokesman Ayaz Akbar said the Hurriyat had merely expressed some reservations about holding Zubin Mehta’s concert in Kashmir and appealed to the German Ambassador to “review the programme.” But the New Delhi-based media created an impression that the Kashmiris were bigots.

The statement said the Kashmiris did not oppose the German Ambassador or Zubin Mehta. “However, they have genuine grievances that no serious efforts are being made to understand and mitigate their pain and sufferings.”

“The Hurriyat had made it clear that Kashmir is a disputed territory and any move on political, diplomatic or cultural front would affect its status, and India can take advantage of it and portray an image not related to facts. In no way does it seem a civilised and polite step to organise a concert in Shalimar Bagh when people suffer at the hands of forces,” it said. The Kashmiris were still mourning four civilians killed in the BSF’s firing and two civilians slain in the Army’s firing in Sumbal, while waiting for the mortal remains of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru, who was hanged in Tihar Jail.

The statement termed the Indian media a “platform for fanatic and intelligence agencies,” alleging that the TV channels were “biased and a blot on the journalist fraternity.”

“Whenever these channels find an opportunity, they distort the... facts and resort to malicious propaganda against the freedom movement. They neither follow moral code nor any other standards.”

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