Srinagar, May 3: On Wednesday, the trouble-torn state of Jammu and Kashmir witnessed a ghastly incident when a school bus was attacked by stone-pelters in Shopian district. The attack left a student badly injured and other kids scarred for life.
Condemning the attack, Jammu and Kashmir Congress chief Gulam Ahmed Mir said the "situation in the Valley is all time worst since 1947". A class 2 student suffered a head injury when the school bus carrying him was attacked by stone pelters in militant-infested Shopian district of south Kashmir on Wednesday morning. The bus was carrying close to 35 students.
"The situation in Kashmir is all time worst as this government and the Centre was not able to tackle it rightly. Militancy was there for the past three decades but the previous governments managed to deliver, run the schools, carried forward the developmental work," Mir told reporters.
"Besides the bloodshed, the democracy has also suffered under this government. The by-elections were cancelled one day before polling (Lok Sabha polls in Anantnag parliamentary constituency in south Kashmir last year). The government first announced the holding of Panchayat and local bodies elections, then decided against it," he added.
Mir also announced the completion of the membership drive and the election process in the state unit of Congress, saying a record number of 10 lakh members have enrolled themselves.
Asked about the Congress' stand on amnesty given to first-time stone-pelters, he said any proposal coming from the state government needs a nod from the home ministry.
"The Congress never took such a shortcut. We follow the law of the land, the Constitution and will not endorse anything which is wrong. A wrong is a wrong," he said.
Mir added the Congress was ready for mid-term elections. "We supported elections, whether for bypolls to fill vacant Assembly or Lok Sabha seats, panchayats and local urban bodies. We believe in democracy," he said.
Mir alleged that the PDP-BJP coalition has wasted the previous three years. "They are cutting ribbons of the projects which were started by the previous UPA government like national highway, construction of tunnels and hospitals and had not come out with a single project till date. They have only made promises and shown dreams to the public," he said.
Asked about the recent reshuffle in the state cabinet, Mir said, "It was not a routine exercise, no matter how much they put a veil on it. Haseeb Drabu (former finance minister) and two BJP ministers (Lal Singh and Chandra Prakash Ganga) were shown the door otherwise there was no possibility of induction of new faces."
Regarding the return of Kashmiri migrant pundits to the Valley, he said nobody is averse to it.
"Even the people in Kashmir have always welcomed their return saying they are a part and parcel of the Kashmiri society," he said.
The Shopian school bus attack has sparked uproar in Kashmir. Several separatists and pro-India leaders have condemned the incident. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, "Shocked & angered to hear of the attack on a school bus in Shopian. The perpetrators of this senseless & cowardly act will be brought to justice."
Former CM Omar Abdullah said some "goons" have taken advantage of the amnesty given to stone-throwers in Kashmir.