I am ready to go to jail: MirwaizSeptember 12th, 2010 - 7:20 pm ICT by IANS
By George Joseph
New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq Sunday said he was “ready to go to jail” following an FIR filed against him by Jammu and Kashmir Police for inciting large-scale violence in Srinagar after Eid prayers.
“I am not afraid of arrest. I am ready to be arrested. We all are ready to go to jail for the cause of the people of Kashmir,” Umer Farooq, who is also the Mirwaiz (head priest) of Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid, and chairman of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference, told IANS over telephone from Srinagar.
The Jammu and Kashmir government Sunday filed a first information report (FIR) against the 37-year-old Mirwaiz and his colleagues on charges of inciting violence and arson after mobs torched four government offices in Srinagar during a massive pro-separatist rally Saturday.
“FIRs and arrests are nothing new to me and Kashmiris,” said the Mirwaiz.
“In fact, for the past six consecutive Fridays I have been kept under house arrest and prevented from offering prayers at the Jamia Masjid (ancestral seat of preaching for his family),” he recalled.
“I should not fear arrest when thousands of Kashmiris have been killed, arrested or tortured,” he said. “Even 10-year-olds and teenagers have been killed in police firing and atrocities,” he added.
He ridiculed the statement of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in New Delhi Saturday accusing the Mirwaiz and other separatists of “betraying the promise that the rally would be non-violent”.
“It is a pitiable tactics by a battered government to retrieve its sagging image,” Mirwaiz told IANS.
(George Joseph can be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Tags: 10 year olds, ancestral seat, arson, chief minister, eid prayers, farooq, firs, government offices, head priest, house arrest, hurriyat conference, information report, jamia masjid, jammu and kashmir, jammu and kashmir government, kashmir, mobs, separatists, srinagar, umer