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Manhandling of Mirwaiz triggers tension in Srinagar

By Mukhtar Ahmad
November 25, 2010 23:33 IST

Tension gripped old city areas of Srinagar as news of the manhandling of the moderate All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq at a seminar in Chandigrah spread.

Supporters of Mirwaiz took to streets shouting slogans and pelted stones at passing vehicles in the old city areas, stronghold of the moderate APHC leader.

Security forces had to use tear smoke and baton charges to disperse the stone pelting youth who forced shopkeepers to down their shutters.

Fearing trouble the authorities have decided to impose curfew in areas falling under five police stations in the old city on Friday.

Mirwaiz, in a statement, said that 'the attack on him would not deter his resolve to reach out to the people of India'.

"These attacks would not stop us from reaching out to the people of India and make them aware about the imperative to resolve the Kashmir issue," the Mirwaiz said.

Meanwhile, Kashmiri Pandit Sangarash Samiti has condemned 'the act committed by some rightwing Hindu groups in Chandigarh under the Kashmir Pandit banner to widen the gap between Kashmiri communities'.

In a statement, Sanjay K Tickoo, president of the KPSS, said: 'The role of Chandigarh administration and the organisers, who allowed the people to instigate the situation that can lead to more damage in Kashmir Valley, should also be put under scanner'.

Opposition Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti too strongly condemned the attack on Mirwaiz.

In a statement, the PDP president said: 'Roughing up prominent religious and political leader of Kashmir was a highly-condemnable act, which had to be disapproved by anyone believing in freedom of speech'.

Mehbooba said the 'right to express one's views is a fundamental right and any attempt to curb it through illegal and strong arm methods was fascist and undemocratic'.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar