Hurriyat (M) mute on poll boycott campaign

SRINAGAR: Hurriyat Conference (M) may not, yet again, launch an election boycott campaign ahead of the five-phased Assembly polls in the state.
In his first Friday address since the announcement of Assembly elections in the state, the amalgam’s chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq chose to stay silent on election boycott.
Mirwaiz, in the 15-minute political speech following his ritual sermon at the historic Jamia Masjid here, limited mention of the elections to condemning police crackdown on the pro-freedom camp.
“We condemn the arrest of pro-freedom leaders ahead of the so-called elections, which are being held at a time government should have been focusing on rehabilitation of the flood victims,” he said, while concluding his address.
Of late, Hurriyat (M) has been silent on calling for boycott of the electoral process, the relevance of which is questioned by the entire pro-freedom camp. Earlier also at the time of Lok Sabha polls in May this year, the amalgam made a symbolic call for boycott without participating in any anti-election campaign.
The other pro-freedom groups including Hurriyat (G), JKLF, Hurriyat (J&K), have, however, made clear their intentions of running a boycott campaign. To thwart their efforts, the police has already detained many leaders and activists of the groups, sending a clear message that boycott campaign will not be allowed.
Focusing his speech on the progress of the post-floods rehabilitation work undertaken by his amalgam, Mirwaiz asked the affected families not to accept “Rs 2800 and Rs 3500 cheques offered by the government”.
“The state government as well as New Delhi had made claims about helping the flood victims. But they, quite shamefully, are offering Rs 2800 and Rs 3500 cheques to the families that lost homes. It is ridiculous,” he said.
“We appeal the families not to accept this meager amount. We (people) can raise this much money for them ourselves,” he said.
Hurriyat (M) has already announced to reconstruct houses for 100 families under the programme it has titled “Akis Akh “.
In the recent weeks, Mirwaiz said, an amount of “Rs 60-70 lakh” has been collected as donation from people. And the construction work might start next week, he added.
“We have been going to various districts to seek help for flood victims and the response from public has been very positive. Insha-Allah, we shall be able to start the constructions next week,” he added.