Mirwaiz Targeted Again, BJP Men Held In Kolkata28 November 2010
Times of India
Kolkata: Moderate Kashmiri separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq's remarks at a seminar in Kolkata provoked protests, with BJP's youth wing activists blocking his way and throwing eggs at his car on Sunday. The incident came three days after a group of Kashmiri Pandits and right-wing activists assaulted him and another moderate separatist, Bilal Lone, at a seminar in Chandigarh on Thursday. The activists had punched and slapped the Mirwaiz there and vandalised the seminar venue. In his speech at the Kolkata seminar titled 'Kashmir: A Way Out', he described Kashmir as a 'disputed land' and said the 'the Indian government should realise the strong sentiments of the Valley's people for azadi'. As soon as he left the seminar venue, a group of activists from BJP students' wing, AVBP, surrounded his car and threw eggs at it. The protesters, carrying banners, saying 'Bharat Ek Hai' and 'Mirwaiz Murdabad', waved sticks with shoes tied to them. Police whisked away the Mirwaiz and arrested 22 activists including a woman. 'Kashmir is a disputed land and we want a solution,' said the Mirwaiz, while replying to former Army chief Shankar Roy Chowdhury's question whether he considered Jammu & Kashmir a part of India. The Mirwaiz said he was in favour of dialogue, but called for a conducive atmosphere for the talks.