New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, who was heckled during Eid prayers at a shrine in Srinagar on Wednesday, said people responsible for it do not count for all Kashmiris and those trying to separate Kashmir from India will never succeed.
Abdullah, who was heckled apparently over raising “Bharat Mata ki Jai” slogans during a prayer meeting for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Monday, said he was not afraid of people attacking him for the slogan.
“I am not afraid, so why worry about it? We are part of this nation, we have been for the past 70 years. We should not be afraid of such turbulence. Instead, we should have the tolerance to face them,” he said.
“If I do anything wrong, people should have the guts to tell me where I am wrong,” he added.
He also took a dig at those who preach separatism in the state.
“Take it from me, you will never succeed. You are bound to fail. You will never be able to separate the state from the rest of the country,” Abdullah in an interview with CNN News18.
Abdullah was heckled amid sloganeering even before the imam leading the congregational prayers could begin the Eid sermon at the Hazratbal shrine. Dozens of youth also hurled shoes and disrupted the congregation forcing the former leader to leave the prayer ground.
“These are people who were not in the right mental state because they would not have disturbed on Eid namaz if they were Muslims,” Abdullah said.
Asked if the Kashmiri people let him down by disrupting the congregation, he said that a handful of people do not count all Kashmiris.
“It is just a few urchins who do these things and not all Kashmiris,” the National Conference (NC) leader said. “There are some who have gone off the track. They will come back and they will learn that they were wrong. They should also remember that a nation must have unity among all religions. We should be one united nation with all religions, all people and all races,” he said.