Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti finally did what she is best known for. After the all-party meeting earlier in the day, Mehbooba visited Anantnag in the evening to offer personal condolences to the families of youth killed in the street violence.
This is the first such gesture by Mehbooba in the 13 days of strife following the gunning down of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
Mehbooba, who recently won an election from Anantnag, had carved out her political career by offering sympathies to families of those killed by security forces.
After contesting the election on a Congress ticket in 1996, she made her newly formed People’s Democratic Party (PDP) popular with her soft separatist policy in the late 1990s.
According to an official spokesperson, the CM expressed anguish over the loss of precious human lives, especially the youth, and assured every possible help to the affected families.
The Chief Minister interacted with the parents of the deceased youth and said she is pained to see the trauma they are undergoing due to the loss of their near and dear ones.
Mehbooba said while certain quarters are only interested in playing politics over dead bodies, it is the family members of these slain youth who have to live with this pain forever.
“Most of these families are living in such miserable conditions that they have to even struggle for day-to-day living,” she said, adding that while thousands of people attend the funerals of the slain youth, “tell me how many of these people then bother to visit these anguished families to help them out of difficult circumstances.”
She said the government was, however, alive to the abject condition of such distressed families. “We will try to work out a mechanism to ensure a secure and dignified living for the kith and kin of the victims of violence so that their families don’t have to run from pillar to post to live a normal life,” she added.
Earlier in the day, during the all-party meeting, Mehbooba reportedly broke down while talking about the youth who had lost their life in the current turmoil.