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In a first, Kashmiri separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq goes ‘live’ online, slams govt

india Updated: Jul 29, 2017 19:20 IST
Abhishek Saha
Abhishek Saha
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Kashmiri,separatist leader,Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had called a press conference at his house in in Nageen area of Srinagar at 3pm, but journalists who reached the venue found restrictions on pedestrian and vehicular movement around the house.(PTI FILE PHOTO)

In a first, Kashmiri separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq used the live video facility of social networking platforms on Saturday to address the media which was barred from his residence despite a scheduled press conference.

In two separate ‘live’ videos — first in English and then in Urdu — the Valley’s head cleric delivered around 10-minute-long messages, clarifying that he does not own any illegal wealth as claimed by certain national television channels.

The Mirwaiz had called a press conference at his house in in Nageen area of Srinagar at 3pm, but journalists who reached the venue found restrictions on pedestrian and vehicular movement around the house.

Although there has been no official statement by the police disallowing the presser, it is common practice in Kashmir for the administration to bar them when called by separatist leaders.

But never before has any leader taken the help of ‘live’ video facilities on Facebook and Twitter to reach out to the media.

“Media & press has been barred from entering my house. All lanes, by-lanes blocked by police. Will talk live via Twitter &Facebook at 4.30,” the Mirwaiz tweeted.

However, at around 4.30pm, he tweeted, “My home internet has been snapped by authorities!! Will find a way out to be online!” Soon he was live on both Facebook and Twitter.

In his video message, he accused the Indian government and sections of media of playing intricate mind games with all those who believed that the Kashmir conflict needed a resolution.

“To tarnish my image, false, malicious and virulent propaganda imputing dishonest and underhand dealings to me is being deliberately spread,” he said and refuted “all defamatory allegations” made against him by a certain channel.

The Mirwaiz went on to provide details of his income sources and clarified his financial position.

“The media should realise that atrocious lies will only lead to denigration of the Indian media. I have full faith in my own probity and in the trust of my people in me, as I am only accountable to them, and I consider it beneath my dignity to even issue a defamatory notice to the channel,” he said.

First Published: Jul 29, 2017 19:20 IST