NC demands Mehbooba's apology for calling protesters criminals

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Srinagar, Dec 6: Opposition National Conference today alleged that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had described protesters and other civilians injured during recent unrest in Kashmir as "criminals" and demanded an apology from her.

"The same woman (Mehbooba) who exploited every single funeral of a slain militant as an opportunity for politics (while in Opposition) has today transformed into a woman who doesn't hesitate to call slain civilians as criminals," said National Conference (NC) spokesman Junaid Mattu.

Mehbooba Mufti

He was reacting to Mehbooba's remarks earlier in the day that "some criminal elements who pelted stones, burnt schools and attacked camps made it clear that they were backed by the Opposition party (NC) to create unrest in the Valley over the last few months."

Mehbooba stated so while commenting on NC president Farooq Abdullah's remarks, asking his party cadres to support separatist Hurriyat in their "struggle" for the rights of Kashmiri people. Mattu said Mehbooba "should tender a public apology to hundreds of grieving families for rubbing salt on their wounds".

"Was young Insha of Shopian a criminal? Was the old lady shot dead while working in her fields in Langate a criminal? Was the young English professor beaten to death a criminal? Shame on Mehbooba Mufti for having the audacity to call these young children and innocent civilians criminals," Mattu said.

"If young Insha was a criminal in the CM's eyes, why did she promise to donate her eyes to the poor girl? Leave alone that promise made for the newspapers, Insha had to be adopted for her medical care and rehabilitation by a Hurriyat leader as the Chief Minister couldn't even have it in her heart to step up and take the responsibility of her proper treatment and rehabilitation," the NC spokesman said in a statement.

"If Mehbooba Mufti had an iota of shame in her, she would have acknowledged the positive role played by the National Conference during this violence," he said.

Mattu said unlike what Mehbooba did in 2010 when the Valley saw three-month-long violent protests during NC rule, "we didn't lock the gates of the Civil Secretariat nor did we go and beg in New Delhi for the dismissal of the state government, something she stooped low in doing countless times in 2010".

He went on to add: "It is evident beyond a modicum of doubt that our Chief Minister doesn't have the acumen or the political vision to understand this constructive and harmonious approach which is crucial for the state at this juncture."

Mattu asked Mehbooba to clarify why her party's Agenda of Alliance with the BJP mentioned Hurriyat and prioritised political engagement with them if she believes Hurriyat was the manifestation and reflection of criminality and anarchy in the state.

"Why did Late Mufti (Mohammad Sayeed) Sahab thank the Hurriyat for the peaceful conduct of elections in the state if you consider Hurriyat to be criminal?" he asked.

PTI

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