Srinagar, Jan 3 (IANS) A day after he asserted that militants and not security forces killed separatist leaders Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone, Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Bhat said Monday that his own brother was assassinated by militants.
Bhat, a senior separatist leader and former chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, blamed separatists for the murder of his brother Mohammad Sultan Bhat in 1995.
Muhammad Bhat, 55, was shot dead by unidentified men in 1995. Speaking to IANS here, Abdul Gani Bhat said the killers were separatists, not security forces.
'Everybody knows who killed my brother. He was also killed by our own people,' said Bhat, chairman of the separatist Muslim Conference who has always opposed the policies of hardliner and pro-Pakistan Syed Ali Geelani.
Bhat ruffled many a feather Sunday when he told a seminar organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) that the Mirwaiz and Lone, both separatist leaders, had been killed by separatists.
'There is nothing new about what I said yesterday,' Bhat said in a matter of fact manner.
'I have always said that serious mistakes have happened (in the militant movement), and the best way to rectify such mistakes is to introspect seriously,' he said.
'I have always said that Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone were killed by our own people.'
Maulvi Farooq was killed in 1990 and Lone in 2002.
'In any conflict situation, the most important thing is to control and calibrate the movement so that it can be taken to a logical conclusion,' Bhat said.
'I am sad to confess that we have not succeeded in controlling the separatist movement,' he said.
'Everyone among us has his own perspective of things. I, as a humble person, have always made myself clear without caring for the repercussions.'
'The truth has to be said, however bitter it may sound,' he added.
Without naming him, Bhat hit out at Geelani, who favours Jammu and Kashmir's merger with Pakistan.
'No human being can ever claim to be always right, and I believe all of us are ordinary mortals,' Bhat said.
'If someone among us thinks he is infallible, than I can only say it is our misfortune.'