Lone suffers jolt as Al-Barq revolts
18 October 2000
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: Al-Barq, the militant outfit regarded as the military wing of Peoples Conference, has raised a revolt against its political leadership and declared that it has no connection whatsoever with Peoples Conference chief Abdul Ghani Lone. In what appears to be a calculated move by Al-Barq to distance itself from Peoples Conference at a time when the political initiatives are in the air, the militant outfit has announced its disassociation in a release that was received by a single newspaper in Kashmir. The Greater Kashmir, one of the leading English daily newspapers published it in Wednesday''s edition. The Al-Barq Amir-e-Aala Malik Bilal Rahi has levelled charges of ''misappropriation of crores of rupees meant for distribution among families of martyrs''. He said that no one from the families of Al-Barq activists received any aid from Lone. Bilal Rahi did not specify the source of funds nor did he mention the exact amount. In an equally stinging charge, Bilal Rahi alleged that Abdul Ghani Lone''s son Sajjad Lone had huge dump of arms and ammunition. He alleged that the arms and ammunition had been stored by Peoples Conference chief to gain power. Bilal Rahi also declared that now onwards Al-Barq will be a non-political militant outfit making it clear that it would be working independently and will have no truck with any political organisation in the State. When Abdul Ghani Lone was contacted by The Hindustan Times for his reaction to the published news item, Peoples Conference chairman declined to comment. ''I don?t want to react to any mudslinging''. Observers, however, see a pattern in it. They read it as part of the same trend in which Hizb-ul-Mujahadeen took on Jamait-I-Islami, though it was not long ago that Jamait-i-Islami and Hizb-ul-Mujahadeen were considered two sides of the same coin. Many recall how the Hizb would often describe Jamait-i-Islami ideologue Syed Ali Shah Geelani as ''Rehbar-e-Inquilab'' or leader of the revolution. If on the one hand it delivers a resounding message that the political leadership of the secessionist inclination was losing control of the militant outfits, it was also indicative of a trend. Political analysts see it as militants assertion to work independently that also helps the political organisations to work on their own without having to explain the conduct of the militant outfits.