Separatist leaders in J-K on Thursday rejected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement that they were stepping up violence with the help of elements from across the border.
"Kashmiris are struggling peacefully for their birth right but India uses its military power to suppress the peaceful and justified struggle," chairman of hardline faction of Hurriyat Syed Ali Shah Geelani said in reaction to PM's statement.
"India is trying to divert the attention from the rights' violation in Kashmir. By doing so, it is deceiving its own people from the real situation and blaming separatists for violence", he said.
Echoing the sentiments of Geelani, chairman of the moderate faction of Hurriyat Mirwaiz Umer Farooq said people of Kashmir are demanding their right in a democratic way but India has always maintained a policy of "rigidity" and uses power which forces the youth to take up arms.
He said "time has come that India should adopt a realistic approach and prepare itself for sincere and serious talks to resolve the issue".
Defending the ongoing struggle in Kashmir, Mirwaiz who was recently elected the chairman of Hurriyat for next two years, said "it is peoples' movement".
"It is not because of a party or individual leader. People are with the movement for a cause and India should realise this fact," he said.
Chairman of JKLF Mohammad Yasin Malik also strongly reacted to the statement and said Kashmiris believe in peaceful struggle and the ceasefire announced by JKLF way back in 1994 was a solid proof of the same.
Malik asked India to take the separatist leadership into confidence and take practical steps to find out ways for the resolution of Kashmir and return of peace in the subcontinent.
PoK-based chairman of United Jehand Council and supreme commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Syed Salahuddin, in a statement released to the local news agencies, said India was fully responsible for the ongoing turbulence in Kashmir.
Criticising PM's statement, he said "the ongoing movement in Kashmir is a peoples' movement who are up in arms against the forced military occupation by India".