Hurriyat calls for Kashmir bandh, says NIA arrests aimed at misleading people of India

With the arrests of Hurriyat leaders, the Centre wanted to “malign and implicate” Hurriyat which represented the sentiments of the people of Kashmir.

india Updated: Jul 24, 2017 20:04 IST
Ashiq Hussain
Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Hurriyat,separatist,Kashmir
The NIA is reportedly investigating the separatists whether they “received funds through hawala for funding terrorist activities and for causing disruption through stone pelting and other activities in Jammu and Kashmir”.(Waseem Andrabi / Hindustan Times)

The Hurriyat leadership has called for a bandh in Kashmir on Tuesday to protest the arrest of its leaders in an alleged terror funding case, which it said was “fabricated” and aimed at misleading the people of India.

Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, in a joint statement, gave a call for complete strike to protest and condemn the “revengeful arbitrary and illegal arrests of Hurriyat leaders Altaf Ahmed Shah, Shahidul Islam, Ayaz Akbar, Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Peer Saifullah”.

Shah is Syed Ali Geelani’s son-in-law and Akbar is spokesman of the Hurriyat hardliner. Islam is close aide of the moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

Umar Farooq‏ tweeted that the arrests were aimed at misleading people of India.

“Drama enacted by govt using the NIA to malign people’s political movement & leadership in Kashmir & to mislead people of India. Lies, propaganda..,” Mirwaiz tweeted.

The joint statement by the leaders condemned the arrest of leaders on “fabricated charges”. They expressed serious “concern about the safety” of those arrested, as no one has been able to establish contact with them, and their whereabouts are not known.

The leaders accused the Centre of trying to “project the people’s political struggle in Kashmir as so called Islamic terrorism aided by Pakistan”, especially in the wake of “international pressure building up on New Delhi”.

They also said that the Centre was “maligning and implicating” the Hurriyat in the alleged funding as the Hurriyat represents people’s sentiments.

Nayeem Khan, who was suspended by Geelani-led Hurriyat after his alleged confession of receiving funds in a TV sting operation, and Farooq Dar (Bitta Karatay), who is associated with a lesser known faction of JKLF, were also arrested. The Hurriyat statement did not mention their names.

While Karatay was arrested from Delhi, the other six leaders were called by the sleuths of NIA to their makeshift office at Humhama in Kashmir’s Budgam where they were detained.

The NIA is reportedly investigating the separatists whether they “received funds through hawala for funding terrorist activities and for causing disruption through stone pelting and other activities in Jammu and Kashmir”.

First Published: Jul 24, 2017 18:58 IST