After being shamed by Kashmiri Americans in University of California in United States (US), former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister (CM), Omar Abdulla was again, in Princeton University in US, asked a rhetorical question echoing the same sentiments. One person among the audience took the microphone to ask ‘How do you sleep at night?’ during the question hour. He was shaming Abdulla for his close ties with ruling right wing Hindu party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India.
The mic holder later called Abdulla a ‘fascist’ and yelled that his (Abdulla’s) hands were drenched in blood before he was forcefully taken away from the auditorium. After asking Abdulla how he slept at night, the protester questioned how he could share the stage with a BJP spokesperson even after the party openly supporting the rape and murder of Asifa, an eight-year-old Bakerwal Muslim girl from Jammu and Kashmir.
‘India has been using rape as a weapon of war to justify its oppression and suppression in Kashmir for so long. It is unfortunate that institutions like Princeton gives the stage to fascists like this guy and the one sitting beside him,’ he said referring to BJP leadersÂ Bharatendra Singh, MP, Uttar Pradesh, Nawin Sinha, National Coordinator, BJP and Sudhanshu Trivedi, National Spokesperson, BJP who were also on stage with Abdulla.
When the man was forced out of the room, Abdulla said that they shouldn’t ‘make a martyr out of him.’
This is not the first time Abdulla is facing this reaction from Kashmiri Americans. Last Thursday, (April 19, 2018), in University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) a protester called him a war criminal and said that they would take him to International Criminal Court for War Crimes.
A large group of Kashmiris consider Abdulla as a CM who acted as an Indian agent during his tenure. He is considered to have sanctioned brutal violence against Kashmiris and military occupation of the place by the Indian state. Kashmir, a perennial conflict zone of India has seen many uprisals that were all suppressed by the police and Indian military. The petitioners said that the 2010 civilian uprising against the India state was repressed by Abdulla and his forces, resulting in the death of over 100 boys, arrest and torture of thousands of youth and sexual abuse of minors.
Even as Abdulla was seen questioning current CM Mehbooba Muftiâ€™s government on the manner in which it was handling the case of rape and murder of Asifa, he faced heavy criticism from the protesters for covering up the rapes of two Kashmiri Muslims, 17-year-old Asiya and 22-year-old Neelofar that was allegedly perpetrated by the Indian military.
Abdulla had to leave the venue midway due to the protest in Berkeley.