Politics Prevented CM from Visiting Handwara: Local Traders Accuse

Riyaz Ul Khaliq

SRINAGAR

Curfew continued in Handwara on Thursday after four persons were killed by forces. (KL file Image: Bilal Bahadur)
Curfew continued in Handwara on Thursday after four persons were killed by forces. (KL file Image: Bilal Bahadur)

Accusing Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President, Ms Mehbooba Mufti of taking “revenge”, the local trade body of Handwara Sunday said that the twist to Handwara incident was “unfortunate”.

“It is being projected that the incident in which our youth were murdered was aimed at defaming army,” Aijaz Ahmad Sofi, president Traders Federation Handwara said in a press conference in Srinagar. Sofi was flanked by KCC&I, KEA (K) and FCIK presidents.

“Our youth were protesting against a genuine issue,” he said.

Ajaz Ahmad Sofi of Traders Federation Handwara speaking to media in Srinagar on April 17, 2016. (KL Image courtesy: Mehraj Bhat)
Ajaz Ahmad Sofi of Traders Federation Handwara speaking to media in Srinagar on April 17, 2016. (KL Image courtesy: Mehraj Bhat)

Lashing out at forces for killing youth, Aijaz, who is also KTMF Kupwara representative, said, “in Jammu, water cannons are used to stop protests but in Kashmir, forces directly open fire on unarmed civilians.”

“Has been police been ordered to directly use bullets? Isn’t lathi-charge used now?” he asked.

Seeking immediate removal of bunkers from main chowk, Jamia Masjid and Girls Higher Secondary, all in Handwara, Sofi said, “we were long back promised that when army convoy shall use Bypass route, these army bunkers would be removed but one and a half year has passed and nothing was done.”

Alleging that slain Nayeem and Iqbal were killed in target fire, Sofi said, “it was shame on part of CM Ms Mehbooba that she did not visit Handwara wherefrom the incidents started.”

CM Mehbooba Mufti in Kupwara's TRC with victim families on April 16, 2016. (KL Image courtesy: Information department)
CM Mehbooba Mufti in Kupwara’s TRC with victim families on April 16, 2016. (KL Image courtesy: Information department)

“It was political vengeance. She went to Kupwara and deliberately did not visit Handwara,” Sofi alleged. “Instead, she should have visited the victim families at their homes. Father of one slain youth was detained by police and later taken to make her meet CM,” he claimed.

Asking Ms Mufti to break her alliance with right wing Hindu nationalist, BJP, Sofi lashed out at New Delhi media, “the approach adopted in NIT case was criminal. Aren’t our children humans? Are they animals.”

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