Omar Abdullah, the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir was reportedly heckled in the United States by Kashmiri Americans. He was there to deliver a speech at the University of Berkeley when a group that also consisted of Kashmiri Pandits protested against him.
Omar Abdullah had tweeted about his engagement at Berkeley earlier.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) April 17, 2018
The group interrupted Omar Abdullah’s speech and cornered him on his silence over Pakistan sponsored terrorism. Interestingly, in the war of words that ensued, Abdullah ended up revealing his true thought process regarding the Kashmiri Pandit exodus that took place in 1990.
One of them, a Kashmiri Pandit, said, “You Talk to me in Kashmiri, I speak better Kashmiri.” To which Omar Abdullah replied, “You all ran away.”
The youth didn’t back down at this horrifying response by Abdullah. He shot back with, “You forced us out.”
A woman who was a part of the protesting group called Omar Abdullah and his father “war criminals”. She is reported to have said :
“I will take you to International Court. You are a war criminal. You, your father, your grandfather. You will see.”
A video of the same has been uploaded by a channel called “Jammu Updates” on Youtube.
After this report got published, we were contacted by a student from the University of Berkeley. We were informed that Republic TV, on whose report we relied, might have got some facts wrong.
The student, who identified himself as Dhrushil said that the people heckling Omar Abdullah were not Kashmiri Pandits but actually, Kashmiri separatists and radicals. Dhrushil said that the lady questioning him is Huma Dar – a known rabid provocateur from the azaadi bandwagon, who had a problem with someone as left as Ramchandra Guha.
Dhrushil said that Omar Abdullah was indeed taking on the pro-azaadi gang at Berkeley. In fact, there was a petition that was doing the rounds that identified India as “Indian occupied Kashmir” and asserted that Omar Abdullah doesn’t represent the people of Kashmir.
Gowhar Geelani, who identifies himself as a journalist also tweeted and confirmed that it was indeed Huma Dar who had heckled Omar Abdullah. He also asserted that pro-azaadi slogans were raised.
Pro-freedom (aazadi) slogans raised as soon as former J&K Chief Minister @OmarAbdullah walks in for a session on #Kashmir at #Berkeley. “Mr. @OmarAbdullah , I want to take you to the International Criminal Court, right now,” said @baalegibreel
— Gowhar Geelani (@gowhargeelani) April 20, 2018
Omar Abdullah also tweeted and clarified his stand.
Boss there were no slogans as I walked in & contrary to the narrative that you’ve been fed & have repeated without attempting to verify I wasn’t forced to leave or cut short my session. In fact the moderators ended it a little after the scheduled time. https://t.co/cLSyYRuleW
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) April 20, 2018
He also clarified that his speech was not cut short, in fact, the session extended beyond the scheduled time.
Editor’s note : Some portions of the report that were written owing to the incorrect information that the group consisted of Kashmiri Pandits has been deleted. An Addendum has been added to reflect facts that later emerged to the fore. The headline has also been changed accordingly.