Mehbooba Condemns Chatergam Killings

KL Report


Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has strongly condemned the killing of two youth in Chatergam area in an army shoot-out Monday evening and urged the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to put a stop to the unaccounted killings in Kashmir.

In a statement, the party president, Mehbooba Mufti said the killing of Faisal Ahmad Bhat and Mehraj-u-Din Dar adds only to the cold statistics of death in Jammu and Kashmir for which nobody is held accountable.

She said her heart goes out to the families which have lost their youngsters to senseless use of force and has expressed solidarity with them in this hour of grief.

Terming it the most atrocious way of killing, Mehbooba said even if the young boys had not responded to the call for stopping, the army men could have fired upon the tyre of the vehicle the boys were traveling in and punctured them (tyres), rather than pumping dozens of bullets into these youngsters.

The PDP Chief said, “We are tired of condemning such incidents and demanding probes which have so far led nowhere.  It is time to restore full civil liberties in Jammu and Kashmir so that the residents of this state also enjoy the constitutional guarantees of dignity and right to life like other citizens of the country.”

Mehbooba said the continued use of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has generated an all pervading sense of impunity among the security forces as they feel beyond reproach for their conduct and some of them misuse their authority and weapons.

The PDP president said the state has travelled long since 1990 when this law was enforced to tackle the militancy in view of thousands of youth having taken to arms. “Now that the people of the state have repeatedly expressed their faith in democratic methods for safeguarding their rights such draconian laws are proving counterproductive,” she said and added that this law is now used more against civilians than militants who are only a few dozen in number now.

Mehbooba said PDP has since 2007 been stressing the Government of India for the revocation of AFSPA, which was later endorsed by no less than the Prime Minister’s Working Groups and supported by all political parties including BJP members during UPA-II.

She said the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi must take a call on this law and use his decisive mandate as an opportunity to open a new chapter in Jammu and Kashmir by taking steps to revoke the AFSPA  thus restoring the  constitutional rights of the people living here. Continuation of unaccountable authority under AFSPA is proving counterproductive day by day, she added.



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