Former Hurriyat chairman blames guerrillas for brother’s murder

By F. Ahmed, IANS,

Srinagar : Senior separatist leader and former chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, Professor Abdul Gani Bhat, Monday blamed separatist gunmen for the murder of his brother in 1995.

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Bhat, who is chairman of the separatist Muslim Conference, has always been in disagreement with the hardline separatist leader, Syed Ali Geelani, and this is well known both in public and separatist circles.

Bhat’s brother, Muhammad Sultan Bhat, 55, was killed by unidentified gunmen in 1995. Speaking to IANS here Monday, Bhat blamed separatist gunmen for the murder.

“Everybody knows who killed my brother. He was also killed by our own people,” Bhat said.

Bhat ruffled many a feather Sunday when he told a separatist seminar organized by the pro-azadi Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) that two senior separatist leaders had been killed by separatist gunmen.

“There is nothing new about what I said here yesterday,” Bhat said.

“I have always said that serious mistakes have happened and the best way to rectify such mistakes is to introspect seriously.

“I have always said that Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone were killed by our own people.”

Maulvi Farooq and Lone were killed in 1990 and 2002 respectively.

“In any conflict situation, the most important thing is to control and calibrate the movement so that it can be taken to a logical conclusion.

“I am sad to confess that we have not succeeded in controlling the separatist movement,” Bhat admitted.

“Everyone among us has his own perspective of things and I as a humble person have always made myself clear without caring for the repercussions.

“The truth has to be said however bitter it might sound,” he asserted.

Without naming Geelani, Bhat said, “No human being can ever claim to be always right and I believe all of us are ordinary mortals. If someone among us thinks he is infallible than I can only say it is our misfortune.”