Reports of likely ban on Hurriyat groups fuels tension in Kashmir

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. File

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. File

Tension and uncertainty was palpable among the Hurriyat camps in Kashmir on Monday in the backdrop of media reports that the Central government is likely to ban the separatist groups under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Supporters of senior separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani were seen removing the signboard of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) from his residence-cum-office in Srinagar.

Incarcerated Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, however, said his faction of the Hurriyat would continue “representing people’s aspiration”.

Mr. Geelani, who is not keeping well, resigned from the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) in June 2020 after developing difference with the leadership across the border.

So far, no formal order has been issued by the police or the Home Department to ban the factions. Earlier, pro-independence group JKLF and socio-religious group Jamaat-e-Islami were banned and their leadership arrested in 2019, ahead of the Centre’s move to end J&K’s special constitutional position in August that year.

Most of the Hurriyat factions have been silent and defunct after the August 5 move by the Centre.

The Mirwaiz, in a statement, said his group would “always represent the aspirations and seek their fulfilment through its principled stand of dialogue and deliberations among the stakeholders of the conflict”.

In a statement, a spokesman of the Mirwaiz said: “The sentiments of the people of J&K, with regard to the resolution of the Kashmir dispute in a peaceful and fair manner, cannot be altered despite repression, legal tactics or propaganda”.

Sending students to Pak

He also refuted the police allegations that the Hurriyat was sending local youth to Pakistan colleges against money. “We reject and denounce the propaganda. This is completely unfounded and can be verified from those students or parents whom we have recommended, with many of them from economically weak sections,” the Hurriyat spokesman said.

The Mirwaiz was giving recommendation letters to students on demand to get admission in the colleges and universities in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Turkey and elsewhere, the spokesman stated.

Take action against Hurriyat: BJP

BJP’s State president Ravinder Raina described the Hurriyat as puppets of Pakistan and sought action against them.

“The Hurriyat is a puppet, and their strings are in Pakistani. They took money and arms from Pakistan to destroy Kashmir. The mother organisation of the Hurriyat is already banned. They misled youth from Kashmir and sent them to Pakistan on pretext of MBBS course but have them back as terrorists. There should be strict action,” he stated.

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Printable version | May 24, 2022 5:46:30 pm |