Separatist groups on Friday protested against waving of Islamic State flag at Srinagar’s grand mosque on December 28. Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani said waving of the flag was an attempt to link “Kashmir’s indigenous struggle with the global terror groups.”
On last Friday, a group of masked youth forcibly made their way into the Grand Mosque and hoisted the flag on the pulpit. This was the first time when an IS flag was waved at the historic Mughal era mosque.
The incident was widely condemned by the separatist and mainstream political groups in the state. Hurriyat blamed the agencies for the incident and termed it as an attempt to tarnish the image of the Kashmir struggle.
In the rest of the country, the reaction was the exact opposite. The media, civil society and political groups played up the incident as one more proof of the terrorist nature of the Kashmiri struggle.
Top separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is also the chief priest of the Valley, had called for the protest against the flag hoisting on Friday. He has termed it as the “desecration” of the mosque by the masked youth, who are accused to be acting at the behest of the government agencies.
Geelani addressed the Friday prayers at the mosque over telephone.
“Desecration of the Grand Mosque (by the hoisting of the IS flag) is an attempt to connect Kashmir struggle with the global terror groups,” Geelani said. “But we want to make it clear that our indigenous struggle is for the right to self-determination. It is not a terrorist struggle”.