Mirwaiz links Sopore Killings to Parrikar's remarks
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq
SRINAGAR : Moderate Hurriyat Chairman and Kashmir's Chief cleric, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Sunday asked the government of India to explain the events in Sopore town in the wake of Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's statement that "terrorists will be used to kill terrorists."
“There is more to the events in Sopore than meets the eye. Someone is definitely orchestrating these events, but we cannot say who it is. However, the fact is that these killings started after the statement of Parrikar where he openly spoke about countering terrorists using terrorists,” Mirwaiz said.
At a function in New Delhi, Parrikar had hinted at the beginning of a new era of target killings to deal with insurgency in Kashmir, “We have to neutralise terrorists through terrorists only. Why can't we do it? We should do it. Why does my soldier have to do it?...kaante se kaanta nikalta hai (A thorn helps in removing a thorn).”
Speaking on the sidelines of a function organised to hand over houses built by his Dar-ul-Khair to flood victims, Mirwaiz said the statement of Defence Minister cannot be taken lightly. "The government must explain to the people who is doing this. They need to clarify why these killings are taking place?” Mirwaiz asked.
Accusing the government of failing to protect the lives of people in the state, moderate Hurriyat chairman said the United Jehad Council (UJC) and separatist leadership have condemned these killings, "The government is not doing enough to protect civilians. In this situation, pro-freedom groups need to unite and formulate a strategy to deal with this menace,” Mirwaiz added.
Soon after Parrikar's made the controversial remarks on May 22 which were widely condemned by the separatists as well as mainstream political parties in J&K, mysterious posters appeared in Sopore, warning people to shut mobile towers or prepare themselves to face the consequences.
On May 26, unidentified gunmen killed a franchise of a telecom company in Sopore which was followed by the killing of another person associated with a telecom company.
On June 9, a Tehreek-e-Hurriyat activist, Sheikh Altaf-ur-Rehman was killed by unidentified gunmen in New Colony Sopore. So far, five people have been killed but no arrests have been made by the police, although some people have been detained.
Condemning the killings in Sopore, Mirwaiz said these events are aimed at 'intimidating pro-freedom people'. “I strongly condemn these killings which are a part of a plot to intimidate pro-freedom people in Kashmir,” Mirwaiz told reporters on sidelines of a function here.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Sunday also sought to link the statement of Parrikar to events in Sopore. “His (Parrikar's) remarks of using terrorists to kill terrorists has shown an ugly face in Sopore where a killing spree has started,” Omar told a large crowd in Srinagar's Lal Chowk where the National Conference, the principal opposition party in J&K of which Omar is the working president, had called for an anti-government march on Saturday.