Hurriyat members clash as Shah wants ex-chief Bhat’s expulsion

As Shah was seeking Bhat’s expulsion at the Hurriyat headquarters here,the supporters of the Mirwaiz and Shah camps traded abuses,accusations,punches and blows.

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar | Published:May 21, 2012 12:35 am

The split in the moderate Hurriyat was wide open on Sunday when its executive member Shabir Ahmad Shah sought expulsion of former chairman Prof Abdul Gani Bhat,saying the Mirwaiz has to decide whether the Hurriyat needs Bhat or pro-freedom people. As Shah was seeking Bhat’s expulsion at the Hurriyat headquarters here,the supporters of the Mirwaiz and Shah camps traded abuses,accusations,punches and blows.

“There are only two ways. Bhat has to apologise to the people,Mujahideen,to the mothers and sisters whose sentiments have been hurt or you (Mirwaiz) have to expel him,” Shah said in a short speech after the seminar organised by the moderate Hurriyat was disrupted following a scuffle between the supporters of two groups.

Shah accused Bhat of violating the Hurriyat constitution and asked Mirwaiz Umer Farooq to decide whom he wants to stay with. “(Maulana) Abass was expelled from Hurriyat. I was expelled from Hurriyat for meeting (US Ambassador) Wisner. Why can’t he be expelled? He has violated the basic preamble of Hurriyat constitution. The Mirwaiz has to decide whether he needs Bhat or us — the pro-freedom people,” he said.

The faultlines were drawn from the beginning and supporters were divided into two camps.

The Mirwaiz camp comprises Maulana Abass Ansari,Abdul Gani Bhat and Bilal Lone while the Shah Camp comprises Nayeem Ahmad Khan,Zafar Akbar Bhat and some second rung leaders.

From the Mirwaiz camp only Ansari was present at the seminar as Mirwaiz and Lone had been put under house arrest by the police while Bhat couldn’t attend because of the death of his grandson two days ago. Ansari,who was the chief guest,was alone at the dais as Shah and Khan sat among the audience,refusing to take seats beside him.

Khan was direct in his attack on Hurriyat leadership claiming there is no road other than azadi. “We are ready for a debate but it should not be on how to find other options. UN resolutions are the bedrock of our movement. There can be no other option. There can be no give and take,” he said.

Khan,who is also the chairman of National Front,reacted to the speech of a Hurriyat member,Abdul Manan Bukhari,who said that there is no substitute to Mirwaiz. “Nayeem Khan is among those people who are the creators of this movement. We have inspired this nation to stand up. We have taken to this movement with complete consciousness,” he said.

Khan continued his tirade against the Mirwaiz saying,“when I go to jail,you (Mirwaiz) run the movement,when we make people dance on the roads,you (Mirwaiz) are able to go to London and America”.

At this,Mirwaiz supporters stood up,raised slogans and attacked him resulting in a pandemonium. Khan’s supporters retaliated leading to a scuffle. Shah tried to pacify people,but a group of Mirwaiz supporters,armed with sticks,appeared at the Hurriyat headquarters resulting in a full blown fight where abuses,punches and blows were exchanged.

Mirwaiz house arrest: Stones pelted at cops

SRINAGAR: People hurled stones at a security forces bunker here on Sunday to protest the house arrest of moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq. “Some miscreants pelted stones on a security forces bunker at Saraf Kadal in downtown Srinagar on Sunday afternoon. Exercising maximum restraint,the miscreants were chased away,” a police spokesman said. No one was injured in the clash,the spokesman said.

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