Mehbooba Mufti, the former Chief Minister of Jammu Kashmir and president of the People’s Democratic Party, on Saturday addressing a press conference in Srinagar asked the Jammu Kashmir admin to make public the list of the youth who have been detained along with their place of lodgement.
Alleging that the Government Forces were forcibly snatching public vehicles in the Shopian district of south Kashmir, she said that the Forces recently used a driver named Showkat Ahmed Sheikh in a similar incident and later arrested him from Shopian’s Sedow and later killed him in an encounter in Kupwara.
“A few days back, a youth who was arrested in Shopian’s Sedow and ten days after that the Police said he was arrested and killed in Kupwara. I do not understand how did he reach Kupwara while he was in Police custody in Shopian,” Mehbooba Mufti asked. She said that on one side chance encounters have seen a massive spike and on the other, their families are being disallowed the access to the dead bodies of their kin.
Challenging the recent seizure of properties in Srinagar, she said that the Police are not the Law. “Where is the investigation in such cases. There are bulldozers run against Muslim houses in several states of India and here in Kashmir, they are attaching properties in the name of the houses being used for militancy,” Mehbooba Mufti said.
Appealing to unity among the masses she said, “People of Kashmir cannot afford to lose hope. BJP wants to promote a sense of fear, hopelessness, and helplessness, we cannot give in to that. Political groups in Kashmir have united for the common good, It is time for people to act and stay united to preserve their rights.”
“Post-2019”, she said, “local laws are being changed and our lands, and jobs are being put on sale. State land is being freed and then the first preference of acquiring that piece of land is given to Government forces and the second to industries. People of Jammu and Kashmir are being dis empowered in every manner.”
Responding to the recent drought-like situation in several parts of the Kashmir valley she said it is an outcome of “unchecked” mining in Kashmir’s rivers. “The contractors are mining beyond permissible levels that has led to the drying down of our irrigation channels, which has added to the woes of Farmers in Kashmir valley,” the PDP president said.
Stating that there was widespread discrimination in the PHE and R& B Departments in Jammu Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti said earlier that the contracts of the necessary items were allotted to the locals, however, post abrogation, all the contracts are being allotted to outsiders. “The latest war is against our education. Initially, the closed down the Falah e Taleem schools run by Jamat e Islami, now they are asking schools to wind up from Government land. This move will leave helpless lakhs of students and thousands of teachers,” she said.
“Unfortunately, state land is being granted to Government forces and schools are being asked to wind up,” she said.
Alleging that the NIA raids, raids by SIA, and CBI were a part of the process to silence down Kashmiris, She said that now they’re targeting businessmen from Kashmir which is unfortunate. “This move is merely aimed at creating distrust among Kashmiris. Some are labelled as militants, some corrupt and removed or raided by officials without any investigation in any court of Law. We cannot harass people for mere allegations, “the former Chief Minister said.
Responding to the statement of LG Manoj Sinha in which he had said that nobody will be provided free electricity, she said, “Nobody in Kashmir is consuming free electricity. It is them who are taking our electricity away. We (Kashmiris) are paying electricity fees on time. We do not demand free electricity, We demand our electricity.”
Referring to the spike in local recruitment into militant outfits, Mehbooba Mufti appealed to Kashmiri youth to not give up their life easily. “Killing you is an incentive for them. They will get paid for it, But Kashmir needs you in the future,” she said.
Mehbooba Mufti said that the hype around Yatra is such that it was happening for the first time. “Yatra has been happening for ages and nobody has ever caused harm to Yatris. They are our guests. Why are civilians being harassed for that?” Mehbooba Mufti alleged
Towards the end of the press conference, Mehbooba Mufti said that if BJP wants to address the issue of Corruption, they are at the wrong address. “They should visit Maharashtra and Assam where their party is buying elected members for hundreds of crores to overthrow an elected Government,” she said.