A video of a senior National Conference (NC) leader, who fought an election against chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, pledging his support to the Kashmiri freedom struggle and quitting his party has gone viral in the Valley.
“I pledge my support to the ongoing freedom struggle and announce my resignation from mainstream politics and the NC,” Iftikhar Hussain Misger is seen as saying in the video, surrounded by hundreds of young men.
He is also seen shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. Misger fought and lost against Mehbooba in the Anantnag bypolls in June. The region is one of the worst affected by the ongoing unrest in the Valley that have already claimed 50 lives and injured nearly 2,000 people.
If he formally quits, it will be a big setback for the NC at a time its rival, Mehbooba’s Peoples Democratic Party, is rapidly becoming unpopular in the Valley following nearly a month-long cycle of violence, triggered by the death of insurgent Burhan Wani.
In the video, Misger is seen telling a cheering crowd that he has “given up his security and will soon make his decision to quit public’’.
Misger is seen shouting slogans like, “Hum le ke rahengay Azaadi”, “Bharat Ka Jo Yaar Hai Gaddar Hai Gaddar Hai” and “Bharat Ke Aiwanon Ko Aag Laga Do”. HT couldn’t independently verify the video.
Sources said the video was shot near Misger’s residence, near the volatile Cheeni Chowk area of Anantnag, and that he was taken to a mosque by the mob and asked to quit mainstream politics.
Misger was not available but senior NC leader Ali Mohammad Sagar said he couldn’t comment “on the circumstances the video was shot in’’.
“I have been trying to contact him but he is not available. We don’t know what has happened outside his residence. We are trying to contact him to ascertain facts,’’ Sagar said.
Sources in the party said a crowd of protestors entered Misger’s home and forced him to pledge support to ``freedom movement’’.
The NC fielded Misger against late chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed from the Anantnag constituency in 2014 assembly polls. He lost the election.