Collective Conscience Satisfied but Collective Punishment Continues: Mehbooba

KL Report

SRINAGAR

Situation in the state especially Kashmir is of serious concern though ‘collective conscience’ was satisfied in a matter of seconds but the ‘collective punishment’ is continuing unabated, said Peoples Democratic Party’s  President Mehbooba Mufti and added that the government has ceased to function within the constitutional framework which could push yet another generation out of the democratic system.

“People’s faith in the government has eroded completely and alienation has touched a new level as the government is increasingly becoming dependent on security forces and police for its survival” Mehbooba said while addressing a press gathering on Saturday. She said the freedom of expression has been trampled which does not seem to be a part of vibrant democracy.

Mehbooba said that the “opposition” leaders like Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Mohammad Yaseen Malik, Shabir Ahmed Shah, Nayeem Ahmed Khan and scores of others are arrested and put up in jails and some are put under house arrest post Afzal Guru hanging.

“Many detenues have complained of failing health in jails while as some complaint Nimaz was disallowed as a routine on Fridays”, she said and added, “Our sources told us that NC agents are acting as informers and many are arrested only to make money. New cases have been filed against hundreds of youth while the chief minister’s earlier announcements of withdrawal of cases have turned out to be false. Youth generally framed in multiple cases so that they are arrested in another case if bailed out in one.”

She said that the syndrome has now taken note of by the Supreme Court in Masrat Alam case but nothing has changed on ground for Kashmiri youth who continue to be targeted at home and outside the state. “This repression has already pushed young boys like Atir Ahmed Dar of Sopore and reportedly many others to pick up arms again. Even the latest arrest of Liyaqat Shah in Delhi indicates that the industry to involve Kashmiri youth for rewards and medals in thriving. The Kashmiri youth have become a fodder for Congress BJP electoral politics.”

As there are a number of youth lodged in various jails of the country including the Tihar jail, Mehbooba said that the government must come out with a white paper on them and their status of their cases.

“The failure of rehabilitation policy for militants who wanted to live a normal life has made it into another slogan. Government must come out with details of the youth who have applied for permission to return. Why are they forced to take the Nepal route if it is legal to cross over from designated points of entry? There are instances in which parents have been kept hostage for their sons”, Mehbooba said.

While reacting over the chief minister’s latest remarks on the issue of social networking sites that they are under constant scanner, Mehbooba said it causes an alarm. “Press is always tried to be gagged. Local TV channels continue to be prevented from airing news and current affairs programs. There are two sets of rules in the state.”

Accusing government of caging people, Mehbooba said that curfew has become a norm for this government. “In its four years of disastrous government there is not a single year when peoples movement was not restricted enmass.”

“Worst mass atrocities are being perpetrated through the so called non lethal crowd control methods. Pellet guns have permanently damaged at least 50 youth since they were introduced in 2010. Some have lost eyesight completely,” she added.

While talking about the riot control measures adopted by government Mehbooba aid that, “Pepper gas is banned even in war. Though our country is a signatory to UN convention on the subject, Kashmir has been singled out for this barbaric treatment. At least 3 persons have been documented by human rights organisations to have died of pepper gas.”

Taking dig at government, Mehbooba said that the state government is involved in its survival battle and it is significant that people no more expect anything from it.

“NC has a record of massive let downs. Between 1996 and 2002 it had an overwhelming majority in Assembly. Still it went into the lap of the NDA, extended AFSPA to Jammu and brought in POTA. Gave away the most feasible hydel projects to NHPC. Now it is a drastically reduced political entity and entirely dependent on crutches and has become a perpetrator of worst crimes against people,” Mehbooba told the gathering.

“The frustration among the people is understandable and it would only grow under this government that is interested only in personal fortunes of its leaders while the state suffers,” she added.

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