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Pro-Pak separatist Asiya Andrabi in ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ poster in J-K

Andrabi is a hardcore pro-Pakistan separatist leader and her image in a government campaign generated curiosity and criticism.

india Updated: Oct 11, 2017 23:29 IST
Toufiq Rashid
Toufiq Rashid
Srinagar, Hindustan Times
Mehbooba Mufti,Asiya Andrabi,Narendra Modi
According to a circular issued by the deputy commissioner of Anantnag late on Wednesday, an official was suspended after the poster goof-up.(HT Photo)

Kashmir’s hardline separatist woman leader is a role model on a poster for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s signature “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao”, a social campaign for girls to arrest the skewed child sex ratio in the country.

The government poster has the image of a burka-clad Asiya Andrabi, founding leader of Dukhtaran-e-Millat, an all-woman outfit, who is behind bars since May this year.

It also features chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, Mother Teresa and former prime minister Indira Gandhi, among others.

Besides, the poster shows a wrong photograph of Kashmir’s first IPS officer, Ruweda Salam.

It was unveiled at an event organised by the state tourism department at Kokernag in south Kashmir on Wednesday, which senior ministers and bureaucrats attended.

Andrabi is a hardcore pro-Pakistan separatist leader and her image in a government campaign generated curiosity and criticism.

The BJP, which rules the state with coalition partner Peoples Democratic Party of chief minister Mufti, demanded an inquiry. Party spokesman Sunil Sethi demanded action against people responsible for the “goof-up”.

According to a circular issued by the deputy commissioner of Anantnag late on Wednesday, child development project officer Shameema Akhter was suspended.

Akhter told reporters that the poster was made by the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), and Andrabi’s name and image was used “only in her capacity as a religious leader”.

ICDS minister Asiya Naqash said she was not aware of the mistake and didn’t attend the function at Kokernag.

“I came to know only through Hindustan Times. I will enquire and gather facts. Only then I will react.”

Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao literally means save and educate girls.

First Published: Oct 11, 2017 23:28 IST