Udhampur Attack: ‘Mufti Govt Failed Us,’ Victim Families Decry

Mohammad Raafi

SRINAGAR

Er Rashid briefing press in Srinagar along with the fathers of the Udhampur attack victims. (Photo: Bilal Bahadur/KL)
Er Rashid briefing press in Srinagar along with the fathers of the Udhampur attack victims. (Photo: Bilal Bahadur/KL)

The kin’s of the victims of Udhampur incident Wednesday held a press conference in local hotel in Srinagar demanding immediate arrest of the “terrorist” who were involved in the inhuman and brutal act of charring their children.

Speaking during a press conference organised by the Awami Ittihad Party Chief and MLA Langate, Engineer Rashid, the parents expressed dismay over government action in the case. “Nobody from the civil administration visited us,” said Ghulam Rasool Bhat, father of Zahid Ahmad, who has received 70-80 percent burn injuries in a vicious attack on the intervening night of October 9-10. “Yesterday I heard CM was coming to Islamabad and I came in front of his vehicle and stopped him. I handed him back Rs 20,000 and a cheque of Rs 20,000. He took the money and left.”

Government has been claiming of providing Rs120,000 to us, he said, which is baseless and false. “These are fabricated stories. We have rejected any sort of help from the government. We will beg but never take money from this government.”

Ghulam Muhammad Dar, father of another victim, Showkat A Dar, expressed his anguish over the government inaction into the case. “This government failed us,” he said. “Tehsildar and DC Islamabad have been threatening us of slapping PSA against us if we speak the truth. Last night I received a call from Tehsildar and he told me to come to his office to receive a cheque of Rs 50,000. When I rejected, he threatened me of slapping PSA against me, if I speak the truth before media.”

However, DC Islamabad, Muneer Ul Islam, ridiculed the claims made by the parents of the victims and termed them baseless and malicious. “If one doesn’t take the money provided by the government, why should I threaten him? It is his personal choice,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Engineer Rashid lashed out at the government for not being able to trace the culprits who were involved in the dreadful and inhuman act of burning Kashmiri drivers.

“When in Kashmir, government even gets a hint about the presence of militants anywhere, the entire administration is routed to trace them and within hours, they are caught. But why not in this case?” Rashid questioned. “Instead of giving communal harmony lectures in Kashmir, the government should hold classes of communal harmony in Jammu and teach them the lessons of harmony and brotherhood.”

Rashid said that a day after the Udhampur incident, another Kashmiri driver of Mirbazar Islamabad, Siyaar Ahmad, was also attacked by the “Hindu terrorists”, but government rejected the claims.

“I visited Siyaar Ahmad in Islamabad and now, he has been admitted in SMHS for three days,” Rashid claimed, adding that Siyaar couldn’t attend the Press Conference due to severe burn injuries.

On government’s claims of providing Rs 10,000 and air tickets to families’ of the victims, Rashid said Mufti-led PDP-BJP govt is providing step-motherly treatment to the kin’s of the victims by withholding support.

“How will a person who has 70 percent burn injuries treat himself, that too in Delhi? This is mere eyewash! Government is misleading people,” Rashid said. In the same breath, the lawmaker from Langate lashed out at RSS and VHP zealots for threatening economic blockade to Kashmir. “I want to tell them that we are not afraid of these threats,” he said. “I request them to open the natural routes of trade in Kashmir. Kashmiris are tolerant—but that doesn’t mean, we will surrender our rights.”

While handing over cash of Rs 1 lakh each to the victim families, Er Rashid said he will be accompanying the victim families to Delhi for the treatment of their sons.

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