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Monday, January 3, 2011

Prof Gani’s ‘truth’ stirs hornets’ nest in separatist camp

Guerrilla groups call him “Indian agent”; Geelani camp tightlipped

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jan 3: Hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani, his political alma mater Jamaat-e-Islami, his seven-year-old Tehreek-e-Hurriyat as well as his faction of the Hurriyat Conference today did not react to the senior separatist leader Prof Abdul Gani Bhat’s admission that most of the Kashmiri intellectuals and politicians had been eliminated by none other than Kashmiri militants. A number of radical guerrilla groups, however, dismissed Bhat as an “Indian agent” and charged him with committing “sabotage of the freedom movement”.

Local news agency, KNS, reported that someone who identified himself as Samee-ul-Haq and claimed that he was the spokesman of an alliance of three guerrilla outfits---Al-Nasireen, Farzandan-e-Millat and Shuhada Brigade---called it on telephone and reacted sharply to Prof Gani’s statement. At a JKLF-sponsored seminar here yesterday, Prof Gani had stated that Kashmiri intellectuals and political leaders like Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq, Abdul Gani Lone and Prof Abdul Ahad Wani had been killed by “none other than our own people”. According to him, Indian armed forces or Police had no involvement in these assassinations.

In the last 21 years of armed insurgency in Kashmir, Hurriyat Conference and all other separatist and militant groups have held the Indian forces, intelligence agencies and Police responsible for each and every civilian killing. This is for the fist time that an insider has spilled the beans and asserted in unambiguous terms that “our own people (militants), not Indian forces or Police”, have gunned down intellectuals, religious scholars and politicians like Mirwaiz Farooq, Ab Gani Lone and Prof Ahad Wani.

According to KNS, the militant alliance spokesman described Prof Gani as a “saboteur” of the Valley’s separatist movement and alleged that the “task of sabotaging the freedom movement has been assigned to him by none other than India”. The spokesman said that everybody in Kashmir knew it well as to who killed whom and why. “Generating a public debate over it would only be harmful to the freedom movement”. He warned Prof Gani to desist from causing damage to the “freedom struggle” and said that the Hurriyat leader’s ‘anti-movement machinations’ were no secret for the militant alliance.

The spokesman attributed Prof Gani’s utterances to the latter’s animosity with Geelani and warned that he would not be allowed to cause any more damage to the Kashmiri’s “freedom struggle”.

In a separate statement, officiating Chairperson of Dukhtaraan-e-Millat, Rifat Fatima, labeled Prof Gani as well as his Hurriyat colleague, Bilal Gani Lone, as “Indian agents” and alleged that both were working for the “Indian agencies” with the sole motive of causing damage to the Kashmiris’ “freedom struggle”. She said that both the Hurriyat leaders had been exposed with their own “anti-movement statements” on Sunday. She further alleged that seminars like that of JKLF yesterday were being organized by the “Indian agencies” only to harm the “freedom struggle”. The real freedom leaders, she said, were not being allowed by the government to assemble or utter a word, let alone addressing seminars.

Significantly, there was immediately no reaction to Prof Gani’s statement from his bete noire, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, his political alma mater, Jamaat-e-Islami, his current organisation, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, or his faction of the Hurriyat Conference. Prof Gani’s obvious target---formidable militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, that in 1990s faced allegations of killing Mirwaiz Farooq and Prof Wani---also did not make comment till late tonight. Observers were still expecting a bitter reaction from Hizbul Mujahideen and Muzaffarabad-based militant alliance United Jihad Council.

Meanwhile, Prof Gani today told NDTV that he firmly stood by whatever he had spoken at the JKLF seminar on Sunday. He maintained that he had told the gathering a ‘truth’ which he would not withdraw under any threat or pressure.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hurriyat leader Prof Gani tells ‘truth’ after 21 years

‘Our own militants killed Mirwaiz Farooq, Ab Gani Lone, Dr Ahad Wani etc’

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jan 2: Separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference’s senior leader and former Chairman, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, today dropped a veritable bombshell when he said at a JKLF seminar that it were Kashmiri militants, not the Indian Army or Police, who had killed intellectuals and leaders like Mirwaiz Maulvi Mohammad Farooq, Abdul Gani Lone and Prof Abdul Ahad Wani. He said that he had advised Valley’s traders not to respond to calls of some radical leaders but they ‘unfortunately’ observed shutdown for five long months of year 2010 and multiplied the miseries of the Kashmiris.

Five years after telling some naked truths of Kashmir’s separatist movement at a function organized on the premises of ‘Azad Jammu & Kashmir Assembly’ at Muzaffarabad, founder-leader of Hurriyat in 1993 and founder-Chairman of Muslim United Front in 1986, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, today disclosed publicly in Srinagar that most of the Kashmiri intellectuals, scholars, clergymen and political leaders had been eliminated by none other than “our own people”. Addressing JKLF-sponsored seminar on 20th death anniversary of then Professor at Department of Law, Kashmir University, and a separatist ideologue, Prof Abdul Ahad Wani, Gani directly held the Kashmiri militants responsible for killing men like Awami Action Committee Chairman, Mirwaiz Maulvi Mohammad Farooq, Hurriyat’s founder member and Chairman of Peoples Conference, Abdul Gani Lone, and Prof Abdul Ahad Wani.

“Lone Sahib, Mirwaiz Farooq and Prof Wani were not killed by Army or police. They were targeted by our own people. Story is long one but we have to tell the truth,” he said. He said that the Kashmiri politicians and militants had started the separatist movement with “killing our own intellectuals”. “Was Prof Wani martyr of brilliance or martyr of rivalry, we must ask ourselves today”, Prof Gani said.

Prof Gani, who played most important role in launching MUF as well as Hurriyat after teaching Persian language and literature for more than 25 years at Government Degree College Sopore, is famous for his style of making sensational revelations. He had jumped into active politics and launched MUF after then Governor Jagmohan terminated his service for ‘preaching secessionism’ and becoming ‘threat to the nation’s security’. Even when he was operating as a senior Hurriyat leader, militants---allegedly of Hizbul Mujahideen---had gunned down Prof Bhat’s brother at his residential village of Botengo in Sopore-Bandipore belt.

Prof Bhat’s sensational revelation came very much in the presence of the two slain leaders’ sons---Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Bilal Gani Lone--- who remained tightlipped and did not react to their senior colleague’s assertion. Some of the family members and relatives of the slain academic Prof Wani were also in attendance at the seminar. They too remained noncommittal.

Prof Bhat’s disclosures, coming first time from a senior Hurriyat’s mouth, are significant in the sense that he and invariably all of his separatist colleagues and militant outfits have been holding the Indian security forces responsible for all of these assassinations. Bhat asserted in unambiguous terms today that neither the Indian armed forces nor the state Police were involved in such killings.

Influential cleric-politician, Mirwaiz Farooq, had been gunned down by unidentified assassins at his Nageen residence on May 21, 1990. Prof Ahad Wani was kidnapped by some gunmen from KU’s Department of Law on January 2, 1991, and hours later his bullet-riddled body was spotted at a deserted place outside the university premises where Professors’ Colony has now come up in the last few years. Once a Minister and MLA from Handwara, Lone was gunned down at Mirwaiz Farooq’s 12rth death anniversary function at Eidgah Grounds on May 21, 2002. All the three killings happened in broad daylight.

Taking potshots on the separatist hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani and “the journalists and columnists who catapulted him to a meteoric rise”, Prof Bhat asserted that many of the Valley’s politicians and intellectuals had made the life of ordinary Kashmiris miserable. “On one hand, he (Geelani) refuses to talk to India and on the other hand he takes pleasure in meeting with the Indian Parliamentarians. These dichotomies and contradictions have to go. When we initiated talks with New Delhi, we were labeled as Kafir (non-believers) and when you talk, it’s no problem!” he said.

Prof Bhat made yet another sensational disclosure that during the thick of last year’s street demonstrations and unending shutdowns, he had implored the Valley traders not to listen to calls from radicals but it was “utterly unfortunate” that they multiplied the miseries of the hapless Kashmiris by keeping their businesses shut for five long months. He cautioned that emotion-driven acts and decisions would lead the Kashmiris to nowhere.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Bilal Gani Lone, JKLF Chairman Yasin Malik, Dean University of Kashmir Prof Noor Ahmed Baba, Pediatrician Dr Altaf , Dr Zaffar Mehdi and Jamiat Ahli Hadees chief Maulana Shaukat Shah and eminent lawyer Zaffar Shah were among a large numbers of speakers on the occasion. Almost all of them demonized the Indian state as oppressor and suppressor and asserted that all of the Kashmiris were for separation from India. Malik referred to some recent incidents of “attacks” on Mirwaiz and other separatist leaders and claimed that the Indian intellectual opinion was fast turning in favour of the Kashmiris and “their just struggle for Azadi”.