The first day of the summer session of the Jammu and Kashmir assembly was dominated by discussions on the 109 deaths during the past three months of unrest in the Valley.
CM Omar Abdullah said he was saddened more than anybody else over the 109 deaths. “It’s like somebody has pounced his hand into my heart and pulled out 109 pieces from it.”
However, he added: “I am not ready to play politics over the 109 deaths. I am not ready to change the condolence resolution into a political resolution.”
The leader of Opposition Mehbooba Mufti (PDP) burst into tears while talking about an eight-year-old victim. The BJP also offered condolences at the loss of lives in the Valley.
The first day of the session was not as stormy as expected. The PDP, however, said it would ‘peacefully boycott’ the 12-day session. “We will boycott the session till government takes action against those involved in the killings,” Mufti said.
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti asked the state government to restore credibility among the people before starting “government business”.
She also accused the ruling party of giving security forces an “indirect license to kill”. “A senior National Conference leader told the all-party meet that initial findings suggest 60 killings could have been avoided,’’ Mufti said.
The accusations were reiterated by Engineer Abdul Rashid, an independent MLA from Langate. “Those who kill the boys cannot offer them condolences,’’ he said. He accused both PDP and NC-Congress coalition of playing politics over the deaths.
Refusing to be drawn into political “blame-game”, Abdullah said he would not answer his political opponents. “I will be thrashed in the media for a couple of days for not giving prompt replies to my political opponents, but it is okay as they have been thrashing me for the last three months,’’ he said.