STATE TIMES NEWS
Jammu: Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti on Monday blamed Pakistan and separatists for derailing the dialogue process by shutting doors on the All Party Delegation, saying that the preparations for the Valley unrest were done beforehand.
The preparations for the five-month long unrest in Kashmir were made in advance and when the triggers like separate Kashmiri Pandit Colony and Sainik Colony didn’t work, the killing of Burhan Wani triggered the unrest, she said.
“The Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Lahore and it was followed by Pathankot terrorist attack and today in Jourian. Entire nation had their eyes on the doors of the separatists and the nation was breathless to see the outcome and several senior leaders went to meet them as well. They could have opened the doors,” Mehbooba said, while replying to the discussion on the Kashmir unrest in the State Assembly.
“Had the separatists opened their doors, it could have led to the start of a dialogue,” she added.
Mehbooba said, “A message would have gone and the separatists would have told the All Party Delegation what they have done in the past and what steps have they taken to resolve the issue.”
Referring to the unrest in Kashmir, which left several people dead and many injured, Mehbooba said the unrest took place under a “well-planned conspiracy”.
“Earlier, they used the issue of separate Kashmiri Pandit Colony and then, Sainik Colony to trigger the unrest but when they failed, the Burhan Wani’s killing provided them the trigger they wanted to instigate unrest,” Mehbooba said.
“Preparations (for the unrest) were made in advance as from the very next day slogans were being raised in the mosques and large number of CDs was distributed,” she said, adding that, some elements used small kids as shield and pushed them inside security force camps and police stations. It is easy to say that security forces could have exercised restrain but when a mob attacks a police station with petrol bombs, stones and axes, it becomes difficult to exercise restraint, Mehbooba said. “Many schoolchildren didn’t go to school in uniform as they feared they would be attacked. Several students who went to give examinations were accompanied by their mothers who were carrying doctor’s prescriptions to show the protesters that they were going to see the doctors. They were so much scared,” she added.
Mehbooba said that she wants the walls of hate to fall down and let hearts meet.
“Despite several provocations, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh went to Pakistan but was it the way they should have treated him,” Mehbooba said.
She informed that 370 people were arrested under Public Safety Act (PSA) and the government will review their cases but the process had to be shelved due to the unrest and will begin soon. There were 138 others who were lodged in jails, she added.
Appealing the Opposition to help her in ‘healing’ the wounds of the people, she said, “I strongly feel that the situation was not sudden and going on for several years. My request is that be it 2010 or 2016, it should not have happened, either on your time or ours. Help us to heal the wounds of the people and to bring them out of this,” she said.
On the allegations that preparations were not made to handle the situation post the Burhan Wani encounter, Mehbooba said the encounter happened all of sudden and immediately, curfew was declared but it could not be fully imposed as large number of security forces were deployed for the Amarnath yatra. “Even the Army avoids an encounter, if they feel that collateral damage will be high,” she added.
Mehbooba asserted that her government is committed to bring the youth of Kashmir, who have taken guns, to the mainstream. “I am committed that those who want to return and are not indulged in any terrorist activity want to come back, we would help them come back in mainstream,” she reiterated. In the six encounters that took place in the past two months, six boys surrendered after their families appealed to them. “One of them didn’t even know how to fire a bullet,” Mehobooba rued.
SITs TO PROBE DEATHS; EX-GRATIA FOR KIN
Jammu: Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti informed that Special Investigation Teams (SITs) will be set up for time-bound probe into deaths that took place during the unrest in Kashmir Valley.
“I want to tell you, we will constitute Special Investigation Teams (SIT) at district-level which will have to give time-bound reports and if there is a need for anything further, we will go ahead,” Mehbooba said.
Mehbooba Mufti was responding to Opposition’s demand for a judicial probe into the deaths during mob control by security personnel during the 5-month unrest.
It was informed on the floor of the House that 2,690 cases had been registered in connection with stone pelting incidents, 16 cases in weapon looting and snatching in Kashmir, six people had lost vision in their both eyes while as 20 others were left with a damaged eye during the unrest, besides over 100 people suffering an eye injury. “Over 4,500 personnel of police and security forces were also injured while safeguarding the life and property of the people,” she added.
With regard to demand for rehabilitation of families of those who lost their lives, she said, “They are our own children and we have to ensure their rehabilitation. We have kept an amount of Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia as compensation for the next of the kin in case of deaths. “In any such extreme case, the government is committed to provide jobs to the next of the kin to these families and the children who have lost their eye sights, our government is ready to provide jobs to their family members.” Those having permanent disability will get Rs 75,000, she added.
“I was told in New Delhi by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that the government will ensure free education to them (who lost support system) in top schools on the pattern of Doon school so that they can stand on their feet and need not depend on anybody,” Mehbooba said.
JAMMU: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that she tried to reach to National Conference leader Omar Abdullah by calling him but she was told that “he would call her back. And I waited but the call never came,” she added.
Mehbooba said that she had also called up Omar’s father Farooq Abdullah when he returned from London after his treatment and “was again told that he will call me back but again no call came.”
She said this while responding to Opposition’s charge that they were not taken on board during the unrest. Referring to the 2010 unrest that took place during NC-Congress rule, Mehbooba said Omar was fortunate as his father was there to defend him to say that “My son is there in Kashmir fighting the Pakistan for India.”