Handwara Killings: Absence of CM Escalated Situation, says NC



Funeral of slain Raja Begum (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)
Funeral of slain Raja Begum (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

National Conference on Thursday lashed out at the State Government for its shocking mishandling of the situation in Kupwara District that resulted in the loss of four innocent lives in a matter of 24 hours.

National Conference Spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s absence from the State even on the second day of the Handwara tragedy resulted in the further escalation of the situation that consumed another young life in Drugmulla, Kupwara yesterday.

“The Chief Minister should have shown the courage and sensitivity to reschedule her appointments in Delhi and should have flown back to Kashmir the same day and called a meeting of the State Administration and the Unified Command to ensure maximum restraint is exercised to prevent the situation from worsening any further. Rather than attending to her duties at this crucial time, Mehbooba Mufti chose to carry on with her appointments in New Delhi and this exposes her misplaced priorities,” the NC Spokesperson said in a party statement this afternoon.

The NC Spokesperson expressed shock and disappointment over the fact that Mehbooba Mufti presented the Prime Minister with a bouquet of flowers at a time when four families had lost their loved ones in the Valley.

“Would Mehbooba Mufti have been dethroned from her chair if she had rescheduled her meeting and rushed back to Kashmir? Would she have been terminated from her position by the BJP and the RSS if she had shown a little sensitivity by not presenting bouquets of flowers for photo-ops while four innocent Kashmiris lost their lives in Kupwara? Mehbooba Mufti’s declaration that she was ‘fortunate’ to meet the Union Defence Minister is yet another grim reminder of how PDP has belittled and denigrated the institution of the Chief Minister and how their sole priority is to pander to their alliance partner in New Delhi – even at a cost to their own sense of dignity,” the NC Spokesperson said.

“What was the pressing need to meet the BJP President Amit Shah and Ram Madhav at a time when people were losing their lives in the Valley? What could the meeting with the BJP President have to do with the situation in Kashmir? Are these her priorities? These were all meetings solely aimed at furthering Mehbooba Mufti’s personal PR with the BJP and part of her continued efforts to protect her own personal political interests,” the NC Spokesperson added.

Expressing concern over the condition of injured civilians who had sustained injuries in Handwara and Kupwara, NC Spokesperson said the party wished them a complete and smooth recovery and expressed solidarity with their families.

Meanwhile a Senior delegation of the party led by NC General Secretary Haji Ali Mohammad Sagar and comprising of NC Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani, NC North Zone President Mohammad Akbar Lone, Senior Leader Mir Saifullah and District President Kupwara MLC Qaiser Jamsheed Lone couldn’t proceed to Handwara and Kupwara as planned to express solidarity with the families of the victims as J&K Police refused to provide them with their security vehicles and details.

“This is yet another indication of how there is a complete breakdown of governance and administration in the State. As the principal opposition party, National Conference has every right to movement and to express its condolences with the bereaved families. During the tenure of the previous Omar Abdullah led Government, opposition leaders including Mehbooba Mufti herself were provided with full security as and when sought to travel and visit any place in the State in the gravest of law and order situations. Sadly it seems the Chief Minister’s insecurities seem to be dictating her actions,” the NC Spokesperson further stated.

The National Conference delegation also visited the injured victims from Handwara and Kupwara at Bone & Joints Hospital, Barzulla and inquired about their treatment and health from the doctors. The party leaders expressed solidarity with the attendants and family members of the victims and prayed for their complete and smooth recovery.

In view of the prevailing situation in the Valley, the party has decided to postpone all party elections till the 26th of April. A fresh schedule will be issued in due course of time, the spokesperson further said.


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