National Conference on Friday said the recent door-to-door cordon and siege operation conducted across various villages in Shopian was the first clear indication of an unofficial military rule being invoked in the Valley and said the return of such operations after nearly fifteen years was another low for the PDP-led Government in J&K. Condemning the extensive and unacceptable damage inflicted on hundreds of residential houses in Shopian and the blanket harassment of civilians, NC State Spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu also expressed profound grief and sorrow over the killing of a civilian driver during the operations.
“The unprecedented siege by nearly thirty thousand security force, paramilitary and police personnel in about two dozen villages in Shopian district, including Zainapora, Darazpora, Turkiwungam, Sugan, Kashoo, Maldera, Urpora, Aripora, Ladi , Nagbal, Molu Chitragam, Kungnoo, Heff kuri, Warpora, Kenigom, Human, Chillipora and Dragad is an alarming sign of the gravity of the progressively deteriorating situation in the Valley. Such operations that were witnessed extensively during the early years of armed turmoil in the State, especially during the rule of Late Mufti Sayeed Sahab as the Union Home Minister, brings back grim memories of mass intimidation and persecution under the fig-leaf of anti-militancy measures”, the NC Spokesperson said.
The NC Spokesperson condemned in the strongest of terms the vandalism that resulted in hundreds of residential houses being damaged and ransacked during the siege and said such wanton abuse of fundamental rights and liberties undermined the very basic ideals of the democratic system which has already been mocked and flogged by the current PDP-BJP dispensation.
“Door-to-door searches and ‘surveys’ being conducted by the military under Mehbooab Mufti’s apologetic and toothless rule has yet again exposed the treacherous complicity of the PDP-led Government in devising new strategies to repress the people. PDP has long abandoned its demand for the revocation of AFSPA and now it has stooped to newer depths by ceasing to perform its duty in defending the constitutional and democratic rights of the masses – who are now unofficially presumed to be guilty unless proven innocent”, the NC Spokesperson said in the statement issued in Srinagar.
The NC Spokesperson while expressing profound grief and sorrow over the killing of a civilian driver in the siege demanded a transparent and thorough probe into the circumstances leading to his killing. “We express our heartfelt solidarity with the bereaved family and demand a transparent and independent probe to bring the truth out. In the aftermath of the brazen use of a human-shield by the Army in Beerwah on election day, there are serious questions and apprehensions that require answers from the Government”, the statement further quoted the NC Spokesperson.
“The use of military and operational tactics in dealing with an inherently political problem has proved to be a counter-productive exercise. New Delhi’s continued stand of viewing the problem in Kashmir through a law-and-order and nationalism prism will further compound the already alarming level of alienation in Kashmir. The Central Government’s arrogance in dealing with the Kashmir Issue has had adverse consequences in the State and will continue to spread disaffection and anguish in Kashmir. The Central Government’s egoistic aversion to dialogue with Pakistan and with stakeholders in Kashmir is unfortunate and unsustainable”, the NC Spokesperson added.
The NC Spokesperson also condemned repeated provocative statements issued by top BJP leaders, Members of Parliament and local BJP leaders and Ministers in J&K. “BJP wants to keep Kashmir on boil so that they can extract political dividends from such pain and suffering in Kashmir by spinning a fictitious ‘nationalism versus anti-nationalists fable’. PDP is more than happy to play the role of an accessory and facilitator for this and has hence ended up transforming itself into an anti-Kashmir and anti-people political party”, the NC Spokesperson said.
“The Central Government is now discussing the political situation and the security scenario with the Honorable Governor of the State who met the Prime Minister today. The Chief Minister’s office has been reduced to a mere warden-ship of the BJP. Their complete lack of self-respect is responsible for the current situation and chaos in the State”, the NC Spokesperson added.