In the wake of civilian killings in north Kashmir's Sopore area, the Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Sunday asked the Government to clear its position on Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's statement that "terrorism will be fought with terrorism."
He said the civilian killings are "aimed at intimidating pro-freedom people."
"I strongly condemn the killing of innocent civilians in Sopore, including that of a former militant today. It seems that these killings are a part of a plot to intimidate pro-freedom people in Kashmir," Mirwaiz told reporters on sidelines of a function here. The function was organized to hand over houses to flood victims by Darul-Khair led by Mirwaiz.
"There is more to it (civilian killings) than meets the eye. There definitely seems to a role, but we cannot say of whom. But we need to understand these killings followed the statement of Indian Defence Minister where he openly talked about counter-terrorists and counter-terrorism," he said.
On May 22, Parrikar said "we have to neutralize terrorists through terrorists only. Why can't we do it? We should do it. Why does my soldier have to do it?…kaante se kaantanikaltahai (you remove a thorn with the help of a thorn)."
Since May 26, four people have been killed by unidentified gunmen in Sopore area of north Kashmir's Baramulla district.
A former militant Meraj-ud-Din Dar son of Muhammad Ishaq was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Sopore on Sunday morning. One June 12, a trade union leader Khursheed Ahmad was shot dead in Bomai area of the Apple Town. On June 9, a Tehreek-e-Hurriyat activist Sheikh Altaf-ur-Rehman was killed by unidentified gunmen in New Colony Sopore. On May 26, unidentified gunmen had killed a franchise of a telecom company in the north Kashmir town.
"In view of the killing spree in Sopore, the statement of Indian Defence Minister cannot be taken lightly. I think the government has a lot of clearance to do on it. They need to clarify why these killings are happening?" Mirwaiz asked.
Elaborating, the Hurriyat (M) Chairman said, the United Jehad Council (UJC) and separatist leadership have strongly condemned these killings. "Government does not seem to be doing enough to protect civilians from these unidentified gunmen. In this situation, pro-freedom groups need to formulate a strategy against these killings," Mirwaiz added.
The former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had also claimed that the recent killing of civilians in the Valley started in the wake of the statement made by Parrikar.