news.outlookindia.com | Our Own Killed Lone, Maulvi Farooq, Not India: Bhat Exonerating the Indian forces of long-held allegations of assassinating prominent Hurriyat leaders- Mirwaiz Maulvi Muhammad Farooq, Abdul Gani Lone and JKLF ideologue Prof. Abdul Ahad Wani, leader of the Hurriyat Conference's moderate faction Prof. Abdul Gani Bhat admitted for the first time today, that the killings were actually 'an insider's job'. Prof. Abdul Gani Bhat, who was the chairman of the Hurriyat Conference when it was split into the hardline and moderate factions, categorically stated at a seminar on Sunday that the security forces had played no role in the killings of Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq, Abdul Gani Lone as well as Prof. Abdul Ahad Wani. "Lone sahib, Mirwaiz Farooq and Prof. Wani were not killed by the army or the police. They were targeted by our own people. The story is a long one, but we have to tell the truth," he asserted, stopping short of naming any terrorist group which killed them or delving into the circumstances under which the murders took place. The separatist leader was addressing a seminar on 'Role of intellectuals in the Kashmir movement' organised at a local hotel by JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik to commemorate Wani's death anniversary. The slain Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq's son, present Hurriyat Conference chairman Umar Farooq also did not contradict Bhat when he spoke at the seminar after him. Speaking at the meet, Bhat, a professor of Persian at Sopore Degree College, said: "if you want to free the people of Kashmir from sentimentalism bordering on insanity, you have to speak the truth. Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto once said that sometimes truth escapes the mouth. Here I am letting it out." He was also forthcoming in saying that the present movement against India was started by "us killing our intellectuals". He added: "wherever we found an intellectual, we ended up killing him. Let us ask ourselves: was Prof Wani a martyr of brilliance or a martyr of rivalry?" Mr Bhat, considered a moderate separatist, also seemed to be criticisng hardline leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, when he said: â€œThere was a hartal for five months and 112 people died. And at the end of it there is nothing by way of achievement. This is what happens when there is no thinking, no strategy. If you want to rid people of Kashmir of sentimentalism bordering on insanity, you have to speak the truth.â€ Mr Bhat also criticised those who have been politicisng the deaths of Kashmiris: â€œThese leaders still hail these sacrifices as if their only purpose is to get people killed... for the sake of it.â€ Taking potshots at the rival Hurriyat group for adopting double standards, he said: "when we entered into talks with New Delhi, we were accused of being kafir (non-Muslim), and when you (the hardliners) talk you get away scot-free. This dichotomy in Kashmir politics should end." Bhat also refused to be a part of any unity process between the separatist groups initiated by Umar Farooq. He avowed he would not be associated with any such move that would mean the "hegemony or aggrandisement of any person", making an oblique reference to Geelani. Commenting on the five-month long protests and strike which jolted Kashmir in 2010, he said the Kashmiris did not achieve anything through this, adding that the local intellectuals refrained from writing on the issue. Bhat, also expressed doubts if Pakistan would ever fight a war over Kashmir with India, "it is unlikely as both the nations understand its consequences." He also advocated against an armed movement against India in Kashmir, saying: "It will not have support from any quarter. What next? We should do the talking," he said. Spelling out the benefits, he said negotiation was an art and the right way to move forward. Earlier, JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, in his address, said Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah was the tallest leader Kashmir produced in the past 63 years. But added the Kashmir conflict dwarfed even the Sheikh. "This holds true for all of us. Not one among the present crop of leaders should think that we are above Kashmir," he said. Malik felt that in the past six decades, the Kashmiris had gained nothing, "we have given sacrifices and gone through bitter experiences. But there has been no achievement," he said. Local Kashmiris as well as secessionists have long held the security forces responsible for the killings of Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq, Wani and Lone, slain in three separate incidents. Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq was murdered in cold blood on May 21, 1990 when unidentified gunmen barged into his Srinagar residence and assassinated him. Later, more than 60 people were killed when CRPF personnel fired upon his funeral procession near Islamia College in Srinagar. The firing on the mourners reinforced the ordinary Kashmiri's suspicions, aired by the separatists, that that government was behind Mirwaiz's killing. A TADA court, however, jailed former militant Muhammad Ayub Dar last year for the killing. The CBI charge sheet said Dar, along with two other terrorists, shot the Mirwaiz. Its charge sheet named five Hizbul commanders also. Wani was killed on December 31, 1993, by unknown gunmen. He was a professor of law in Kashmir University and an advocate of the JKLF's views. The academic was in the vicinity of the Hazratbal shrine en route to the university when he was shot. Moderate Hurriyat Conference leader Lone, the father of Sajjad (the first separatist leader to stand in a general election) and Bilal, was killed on May 21 in 2002. He was gunned down by unidentified assailants at a rally to mark the death anniversary of Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq at Eidgah ground in old Srinagar city. The leader was fired upon seconds before the ceremony was to end. Bhat, then the Hurriyat Conference chairman, was also present at the rally. No charge sheet was filed either in the case of Wani's or Lone's killings.