Kashmir’s separatist leaders Friday took out protest rallies in Srinagar against the hanging of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon in a Nagpur jail yesterday.
Strongly condemning Memon’s hanging, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said New Delhi should “do away with capital punishment and stop selectively targeting Muslims.”
Talking to reporters at Jamia Masjid here, Mirwaiz said the Government of India has “adopted a selective approach towards the Muslim community.”
“Memon’s hanging is unfortunate. It is a murder of humanity and justice,” he said.
Mirwaiz questioned why people involved Babri Masjid riots, Malegaon blasts and Mumbai attacks are not being awarded capital punishment. “Why a particular community is being made scapegoat in the name of justice?” Mirwaiz asked. “We believe New Delhi has made up its mind to target a particular community.”
Senior Hurriyat (M) leaders including Musadiq Adil, Engineer Hilal War, Advocate Shahid-ul- Islam, Javaid Ahmad Mir, Mushtaq Ahmed Sofi, Ghulam Nabi Zaqi and others staged a protest at Press Enclave here, demanding all political prisoners of J&K, languishing in various state and outside prisons, be released without any pre-conditions. The protesters said Memon hanging was “miscarriage of justice.” They raised slogans: “Musalmanu ka Qatley-Aam Band Karo; Hurriyat pasando ko riha karo.”
As the protesters tried to march towards Residency Road here, they were bundled into a police vehicle and lodged at Police Station Kothibagh, witnesses said. In the melee, Hurriyat leader Javaid Mir sustained injuries in his left hand and was shifted to Bone and Joints Hospital Barzulla where he underwent a two-hour surgery, reports said.
A police official said the Hurriyat leaders were “taken into preventive custody and will be released in the evening.”
HURRIYAT (G) PROTEST
Leaders of Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani Friday held protest rallies against the hanging of Yakub Memon.
The party leaders who led the rallies include Altaf Ahmed Shah, Ghulam Muhammad Khan, Bashir Ahmed Andrabi, Bilal Sidique, Imtiyaz Haidar and others.
Pertinently, Geelani was the first separatist leader to condemn the hanging of Memon, calling it “a murder of justice.” Meanwhile, a party spokesman said Geelani continued to remain under arrest at his Hyderpora residence. “Geelani was barred from offering 15th consecutive Friday prayer. We strongly condemn this,” the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, in Islamabad (Anantnag), authorities prevented people from offering funeral prayers in absentia for Yakub Memon at a local Eidgah. “The Eidgah was sealed by police,” locals said.
Reports said Er Farooq Khan of Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) tried to march towards the Eidgah but was detained by police. “A youth Aatif Hassan of Janglat Mandi area was also detained after he had appealed people on Facebook to assemble at Hanfia Eidgah to offer funeral prayers in absentia for Memon,” they said.
CLASHES IN SRINAGAR
Violent clashes between youths and forces took place in Nowhatta area of Srinagar after the Friday prayers.
Soon after the prayers concluded at Jamia Masjid, a group of youth raised pro-freedom slogans and tried to march towards Nowhatta Chowk, police said. “The cops on duty stopped the youth from proceeding. This triggered clashes which continued for some time,” a police official said. Before the clashes, the police official said, they spotted some youth waving Pakistan and ISIS flags.
Terming the hanging of Memon as “miscarriage of justice”, CPI (M) State Secretary M Y Tarigami said there were strong mitigating circumstances to commute his death sentence. “But he was singled out. The fact is since 2004, three people were executed and two of them belong to Muslim community. This is bound to reinforce the perception that Muslims are targeted in the justice system and are judged by a different standard,” Tarigami said.
Meanwhile, funeral prayers in absentia for Memon were organized in Kashmir University premises.