PDP MLAs attacked by angry mob in Sopore2 August 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Senior leaders of the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) had close shave at Sopore today when they were attacked by an angry mob outside Nazim Rashid's home this afternoon. PDP's senior vice president Molvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, Member Legislative Assembly (MLA) Nizam-ud-din Bhat and MLA Basharat Bukhari had gone to Sopore to offer condolence to the family of Nazim Rashid who was allegedly killed in police custody on Sunday in Sopore. When the news about PDP leaders visiting the family of Nizam Rashid reached Sopore, the family closed the main entrance of the house for the visiting PDP leaders. The angry residents, especially youth, gathered in the colony immediately. As the PDP leaders reached Krankshawan Colony, they came under attack by the angry mob that pelted stones at the cavalcade. Three vehicles of the PDP leaders were damaged in the stone pelting. Police fired in air to disperse the jeering crowd who were raising slogans against the Government and police. The PDP leaders were whisked away by their security. The angry crowd demanded that the police men responsible for the alleged custodial killing be brought to justice. PDP senior leader Molvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari while giving an account of the incident said on reaching Sopore, a small group of people prevented their entry into the house demanding action against the killers of Nazim Rashid. 'They raised slogans against the Government and its inability to punish the perpetrators of the crime. One young man took off his shirt to show the wounds inflected on him by the police while he and others tried to retrieve body of Nazim from the Government's custody,' he said. Ansari said that his party fully understand the anger among the people of Sopore which in fact is representation of the general sentiments prevailing in Kashmir. 'Anger against the State Government is getting transferred into the entire system and the people obviously thought that PDP was part of the same system headed by Omar Abdullah,' he added. Meanwhile, life remained crippled in Sopore town for third consecutive day today due to a spontaneous strike to protest the killing. Schools, Government offices, banks and business establishments remained closed in the township and traffic was off the roads. However, private and some Government vehicles were plying in the town. Hundreds of police and paramilitary CRPF personnel wearing bullet proof vests and holding automatic weapons and lathis and shields were seen guarding the streets in Sopore to thwart protests. However, no untoward incident was reported from any other area of the township. In the meantime, situation in Baramulla and Bandipora towns returned to normal, where strike was observed yesterday against the incident. Separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Shabir Shah continue to be under house arrest as Government feared that they might instigate protests in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley. Meanwhile, PDP legislators and senior leaders held a meeting at the residence of senior party leader Moulvi Ifthikar Hussain Ansari. The meeting expressed grave concern over human rights situation in the State especially in Kashmir. The meeting said the recent tragedy in Sopore is an inevitable consequence of the result of the 'brutal use of force by the State Government to create false impression of enforced peace.' The meeting expressed condolence to the family of Nazim Rashid and unanimously condemned restrictions imposed on the movement of party president Mehbooba Mufti. Mehbooba also expressed her appreciation to the party legislators and senior leaders who displayed feeling of humanity by traveling to Sopore braving all odds. 'Our party is committed to uphold the peoples' rights and will use all democratic ways to achieve that,' she said. Mehbooba, who was under house arrest, left for Delhi today. She was escorted by police to the aircraft to enforce restriction imposed by District Magistrate, Srinagar on her movement.