Onkar Singh in New Delhi
Bilal Lone, eldest son of slain Hurriyat Conference leader Abdul Gani Lone, on Wednesday said his father, even in his death, contributed towards restoration of peace and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.
"My father died for the cause of peace in Jammu and Kashmir. He is a martyr for peace," Bilal told rediff.com in an exclusive interview in New Delhi before leaving for Srinagar to attend the burial.
When asked where the burial would take place, Bilal said that no decision had yet been taken in this regard. "Since Lone Sahib began his political career from Handwara in Kupwara district, I would personally like the funeral to take place there. Once I reach Srinagar, we would take a decision in consultation with other members of the family," he said.
Bilal accused the state administration of ignoring previous attempts on his father's life in Srinagar and Jammu.
"The administration knew fully well that he is under threat from the militants. Yet, they did nothing to upgrade his security. On the contrary, they scaled down his security. From 18 men at our house, it was scaled down to just four. He was assigned only two personal security officers," he said.
"If the administration cannot protect a man like Abdul Gani Lone, then who would come forward to talk to the Government of India?" he asked.
Bilal refused to speculate on who could possibly be behind his father's murder. "Those who have been following the developments [in Kashmir] can figure out who is behind his assassination," he said.
Bilal's younger brother, Sajjad Lone, had on Tuesday blamed Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence for his father's killing. However, talking to Aaj Tak on Wednesday morning Sajjad said it was just an emotional outburst and he had no idea who could be responsible for his father assassination.
Back to top
Tell us what you think of this report