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Farooq, militant-turned-BJP man, dedicates his vote to his ‘fellows sleeping in graves’

Nisar Dharma

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Srinagar, Oct 10:Underlying the complexity of the Kashmir conflict, a former Pakistan-trained militant-turned-BJP-man on Wednesday paid a queer homage to his “fellows sleeping in the graves” after casting a vote in the ongoing civic polls.

Mohammad Farooq Khan, known by his militancy days’ nom de guerre Saifullah, cast his vote at Munawarabad here in the second phase of the polls.

Showing his ink-marked right index finger to the camera, Farooq said: “Ye nishaan mere un doston aur mere azeezo k naam hai jo qabron mein so rahe hain (This mark is for those of my friends who are sleeping in their graves).”

He, however, did not clarify who he was referring to.

Before being fielded as a BJP candidate for the polls, Farooq used to be a part of an NGO called ‘J&K Human Welfare Association’, which comprised of the former militants declared “reformed” by the authorities.

Apart from his atypical homage, Farooq, contesting from Tankipora in old city, also did some on-screen campaigning in his political avatar.

“You will come to see a new thing Insha Allah. I have not come to repair (damaged) roads and lanes, but to heal the wounds of the people who are suffering for the last 30 years,” he said.

Farooq is one of the many BJP candidates who are having a field day in the ongoing ULB polls, which are bereft of voters.

Also, the BJP advantage lies with regional parties, PDP and NC, boycotting the current Municipal and the forthcoming Panchayat polls.

BJP contestants, as such, are the sole runners in many municipal wards here, making them winners uncontested.

This has, already, put BJP in a festive mood as its state spokesperson, Altaf Thakur, recently asserted the party has won 84 municipal wards uncontested across Kashmir.


Nisar joined The Kashmir Monitor as a reporter in June 2015. Since then, he has been consistently covering beats including conflict, politics, education, and health.

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Lead Stories

Kulgam killings: Kashmir shuts in mourning

Mubashir Bukhari

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Srinagar, Oct 22:A complete shutdown was Monday observed across the Valley to mourn the death of seven civilians who died in an explosion near gunfight site in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Sunday.

The shutdown call was given by Joint Hurriyat Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, appealing people to observe shutdown on Monday and observe sit in protest on Tuesday at Lal Chowk.

In view of the shutdown, the district administration Srinagar had imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar to thwart any protest against the Kulgam killings.

Shops and business establishments were closed while schools colleges and other educational institutions remained shut. Transport both public and private was largely off the roads and train service in Kashmir was suspended by the railway authorities.

Witnesses said that the heavy deployment of forces was deployed in the roads to ensure peaceful situation throughout the day.

The day also witnessed the funeral of Javid Ahmad Lone, the seventh civilian killed in Kulgam, who was buried amid heavy sloganeering at Hawoora, his native village in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

Javid was identified late on Sunday and his body remained in the mortuary for several hours before his family identified him.

Pertinent to mention that the authorities not only blocked internet, a usual trend, they also snapped mobile phones leading to chaos and information blockade.

Reports said that thousands of people attended Javid’s funeral early on Monday. He was taken in a procession towards graveyard amid pro-freedom slogans. Later, Javid was laid to rest amid sobs and tears.

People of Kulgam buried their six loved ones yesterday and they include Auqib Ahmad Sheikh (18) son of Gulzar Ahmad Sheikh of DanowMacanpora, Kulgam, Uzair Ahmad Dar (8th standard student) son of Mushtaq Ahmad Dar of Nayakpora near Kulgam Town, Irshad Ahmad Paddar son of SayedullahPaddar of Shurat Kulgam, Mansoor Ahmad Dar Son of Ghulam Mohammad Dar of Bogund Kulgam, Talib Ahmad Laway son of Mohammad Maqbool of Laroo and Mukeen Ahmad Bhat of Laroo.

While seven persons were killed more than 40 civilians were injured either due to blast near encounter site or use of force including pellets and bullets by government forces. Among the injured, three seriously wounded were referred from Anantnag district hospital and four from Kulgam hospital to SMHS and SKIMS hospitals here for advanced treatment.

The mayhem as has been described by people on both sides of the political spectrum started soon after government forces launched a cordon-and-search operation at Laroo village.

An encounter ensued between a joint team of forces and militants, leading to the killing of three Jaish-e-Mohammad cadres including Shahid Ahmad Tantary of Wangam Shopian, Zubair Ahmad Lone of Ahwatoo Kulgam and  Yazil Ahmad Makroo of Arwani Bijbehara.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pak PM condemns killings, calls for resolution of K-issue

Agencies

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Islamabad, Oct 22: Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan on Monday condemned the killings in Kashmir, saying that India must move to resolve the Kashmir issue through dialogue.

Khan in his tweet said India must resolve the issue in accordance with UNSC resolutions and also according to the wishes of Kashmiris.

“Strongly condemn the new cycle of killings of innocent Kashmiris in IOK by Indian security forces. It is time India realised it must move to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue in accordance with the UN SC resolutions & the wishes of the Kashmiri people (sic),” Imran Khan tweeted.

Earlier on Sunday,ten persons including three militants and seven civilian were killed during the gunfight that raged between forces and militants in Kulgam district of south Kashmir.

The civilians as per police were killed due to a massive explosion that took place at the gunfight site.

 

 

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Hizb Commander Naikoo questions Pak’s limited support to Kashmir

‘Our boys are fighting with pistols and SLRs; Pak media doesn’t give us enough space’ 

Nisar Dharma

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Srinagar, Oct 22: In a purported audio message gone viral on social media in Kashmir, militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen’s commander, Riyaz Naikoo, on Monday sought to remind the people of Pakistan about their “responsibility” in the ongoing “armed resistance” in the valley.

Naikoo, who took over after Sabzar Bhat was killed in May last year, questioned Pakistan’s politicians over their diplomatic support to the “Kashmir movement”.

“Any resistance movement has three dimensions: diplomatic, political, and armed. Diplomatically, only Pakistan can support us, but unfortunately the politicians there have kept the Kashmir issue limited to elections only. It is your responsibility to pass on this message to them and to wake up their conscience,” Naikoo could be heard saying in the unconfirmed 17-minute message.

Naikoo said the militants “biggest problem” was “the lack of weapons”.

“AK47, which was used in 1990s by the militants, continues to be our weapon too. In fact, many of us do not possess that as well. In 1990s, militants used to carry five magazines, and today, the maximum we have is two or three,” he said, while explaining the weaponry the government forces carry in comparison.

Naikoo said when any of their colleagues gets killed in a gunfight, his parents ask them whether their son possessed enough arms to combat.

“We become speechless at that point in time,” he said. “Around 40 of our colleagues have attained martyrdom this year alone. You all shall know what we have received from the base camp. Our boys are fighting with mere pistols and SLRs,” he said.

“My aim is not to criticise you neither do I doubt your intentions. My goal is to awaken your emotions.”

“Feel the pain Kashmir suffers from.”

Naikoo, the audio message added, said that in comparison to how India and its “agencies” were using their diplomatic prowess to “defame and distort Kashmir movement”, Pakistan newspapers and its national media was “not giving” Kashmir issue enough space.

“Here (in Kashmir) we are not able to use social media freely and counter the lies and confusion perpetrated by our enemies. You could have done it easily there,” he said.

Naikoo claimed “our colleagues at the base camp” were in contact with many in Kashmir, many of whom work for “the agencies”.

“Our base camp colleagues trust them blindly and then bring them in contact with the militants in the field, consequences of which are faced by us. Besides, it also leads to our colleagues in the field thinking badly of the people at the base camp,” he said.

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