Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has described the attack on Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in Chandigarh on Thursday as a "reaction to the kind of politics and policy" of the separatist leaders.
Reacting to reports of the attack on the separatist leader, Abdullah told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Jammu: "This was bound to happen".
He said, "It appeared to be a reaction to their politics and policy," indicating that separatist leaders were bound to invite public wrath for speaking against the country and its rule in Jammu and Kashmir.
The chief minister, however, said, "I don't condone the incident."
"We are very proud of our democracy, where the people have liberty to express themselves. Essentially, it's a battle of ideas and ideology," he said.
This is the third incident involving disruption of programmes of separatists.
First, a seminar in Delhi where hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani asked for "freedom of Kashmiris from the Indian rule in Kashmir" in October, was disrupted.
This was followed by the disturbances at a press conference of another separatist leader, Syed Shabir Shah, in Jammu early in November.
The Mirwaiz was roughed up at a seminar in Chandigarh, where he characterised Kashmir as a separate nation.
The Mirwaiz is also the chief cleric of Kashmir.