Don’t pick up guns: Mehbooba to Jammu and Kashmir youth

Updated on Jun 26, 2022 12:41 AM IST

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday urged the youth of Kashmir to shun militancy while appealing to the common people to come together to fight for their rights, including “our lost status and power”

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti addresses a press conference at her residence in Srinagar on Saturday. She urged the youth of Kashmir to shun militancy. (HT Photo)
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti addresses a press conference at her residence in Srinagar on Saturday. She urged the youth of Kashmir to shun militancy. (HT Photo)
By, Srinagar

: Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday urged the youth of Kashmir to shun militancy while appealing to the common people to come together to fight for their rights, including “our lost status and power”.

Mufti also raised questions over the killing of youth, Showkat Ahmad Sheikh, in custody, whom police said was a militant and was killed in an encounter in Kupwara on June 20.

Addressing a press conference, Mufti said that daily two-three local youths are getting killed (in encounters with security forces).

“That means our local (militant) recruitment has increased. It is my request to the parents and those youth to save your lives because to kill you is an incentive for them. They get money and promotions. J&K is in distress. And we will need the youth and the children for the future. Don’t pick up guns,” she said.

She alleged that those are also killed who have not even joined militancy like Showkat Ahmad Sheikh who was arrested in Shopian.

“He was picked up from Shopian police station and how he was taken to Kupwara and killed,” she questioned.

“A blast happened in a Sumo in Shopian and Showkat Ahmad Sheikh was arrested and he was in remand in police station. And after 10 days it was said that he was killed in the Kupwara encounter. Tell me how the driver Showkat Ahmad Sheikh, who was in police custody reached Kupwara to be killed in an encounter,” she said.

She said that the government was dismissing employees here for corruption but the biggest corruption drama was happening in Maharashtra, in Guwahati. “Where an MLA is being bought for 200-300 crore, where they are being housed in 7-Star hotels. This is the biggest example of corruption. Outsiders come here and take suitcases full of money,” she alleged.

She urged people to stand up for their rights and those of their fellow citizens.

“When an employee is being sacked on false charges of militancy or corruption, people should give solace to them. When the charges are proved in court then certainly sack them. But the mere cropping up of names is not justified,” she said.

She urged people to stand by those whose houses are being sealed and raided and show solidarity with them.

“In my time when the situation was bad, no Pandit was killed. But still we provided them with salaries for 17 months in their homes. Today, they are on strike for so many days. I want to request my people and our moulvis to announce in masjids that Kashmiri Pandits are our assets. The BJP always finds excuses to defame when something bad happens here. We should preserve our assets- Kashmiri Pandits and Sikhs,” she said.

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