JEHANGIR ALI | 23 AUGUST, 2018
SRINAGAR: In an embarrassing situation, National Conference president and former union minister Dr Farooq Abdullah was heckled at the historic Hazratbal mosque where he had gone to offer Eid-ul-Azha prayers today morning.
A video clip of the incident shows a visibly perturbed Dr Farooq, seated on a plastic chair in front row, shooing away the person shooting the incident as pro-freedom slogans rent in the air. Earlier, some well-built men, apparently part of his security cover, had taken positions around Abdullah. The video ends abruptly.
Another video of the incident shows a group of worshippers sitting in the back rows standing up and joining the pro-freedom sloganeering which continues to reverberate in the mosque. Slogans lauding Zakir Musa, the head of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind of Al Qaeda, are also heard in the background.
A local news portal reported that Dr Abdullah was allowed to offer Eid prayers after the intervention of the Masjid Committee, “But he did not wait for the Khutbah (sermon)”, a practice deemed mandatory in Islamic texts for completing the prayer.
“As soon as the prayer finished, Abdullah got up to leave. Some protestors took their shoes in their hands while shouting ‘Shame Shame’,” reports said.
“Even before the imam leading the congregational prayers could begin the Eid sermon at the Hazratbal shrine, Abdullah was heckled amid pro-freedom and pro-militant slogans,” another report said.
The show of anger to Dr Farooq at Hazratbal mosque, an abode of mainstream politics and considered to be the bastion of the National Conference, comes in the backdrop of a video clip where the former J&K chief minister was heard chanting 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai'.
The video, apparently shot in New Delhi during a memorial service held in commemoration of former Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee had not gone down well with the people on social media in Kashmir.
“This deceitful politics and doublespeak have been their hallmark. Late Mufti was Indian by conviction. Dr Farooq is Indian by timing. Who says Robert De Niro is a good actor. They haven't met Farooq,” Gowhar Geelani, a political commentator and journalist based in Srinagar, said on Facebook.