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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Afzal on mind, separatists keep mum on Kasab hanging

Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, November 22, 2012
First Published: 23:21 IST(22/11/2012) | Last Updated: 23:25 IST(22/11/2012)

Over two dozen separatist parties in Kashmir desisted from issuing any statement on the hanging of Mumbai attacks convict Ajmal Kasab.

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Hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani issued press statements rejecting Union home minister SK Shinde's offer for dialogue, and stated that any attempt to hang "hero" Afzal Guru would have violent ramifications.

However, there wasn't a single word in reaction to Kasab's hanging.

"We won't comment on the hanging," hardline Hurriyat spokesperson Ayaz Akbar said.

Moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also decided to remain silent.

"No, we have no reaction," said Farooq.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik also shrugged off media queries on his response to Kasab's hanging. Smaller groups, including hardline Islamists that are part of the Hurriyat faction, also kept mum.

This may be seen as a political statement by separatists who are trying their best to distance themselves from terrorist acts such as the Mumbai attacks - carried out by the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

The silence also denotes an attempt by the separatists to delineate Kashmir from terrorism in mainland India.

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