Kashmiri separatist leader and Hurriyat Conference chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was roughed up by displaced Kashmiri Pandits and Hindu right-wing activists at a seminar in Chandigarh on Thursday.
Mirwaiz, who was inside the conference hall of the Kisan Bhawan in Sector 35, was manhandled by the activists who objected to anti-India comments being made at the seminar.
At least a couple of protestors jumped on the conference table and attacked him. He was sharing the dias with leaders of other political parties, including the general secretary of Shiromani Akali Dal Prem Singh Chandumajra.
The organisers immediately jumped in to save Mirwaiz. There was total chaos inside the hall for close to 30 minutes as the protestors shouted slogans against Mirwaiz, Hurriyat Conference and Pakistan.
The protestors also pelted stones, and hurled flower pots.
Chandigarh police rushed in more constables to control the situation at the venue. The police later detained nearly 20 activists, including some women.
"We will not allow any anti-India activity here. We will protest against it," one of the activists said as he was being taken away by the police.
Zameel Qazim, general secretary of the International Democratic Party (IDP), which organised the seminar to discuss the Kashmir issue, told IANS: "Mirwaiz just started speaking when the attack took place. They attacked him without provocation."
Another IDP leader, S S Sanyal said: "Those who led the attack were not Kashmiris."