Post Anantnag Attack on Amarnath Pilgrims
Jammu Tawi, July 13: At that time when there was chaos and disorder in South Kashmir following brutal terrorists attack on Amarnath Pilgrims in which 7 yatries lost their lives while equal number received injuries and further demand of Governor rule was quite clear from all political and social quarters, two politicians exhibited their maturity and statesmanship while handling the crucial situation.
Amazingly, despite being arch political rivals, both these stalwarts well-handled the situation both politically as well as administratively and emerged as wise politicians both at state as well as at national level.
They are none other than chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and former chief minister and National Conference President, Dr Farooq Abdullah.
Soon after the incident of terrorists attack on July 10 night in Anantnag District, a blame game over taking responsibilities of security lapse and demand of imposition of Governor’s rule started. Even those, in ruling coalition government came out with contradictory statements.
At the same time, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti chose to act differently. Instead of monitoring relief and rescue operation from her office, she opted to be there among injured pilgrims the entire night.
Mehbooba Mufti didn’t mind saying, “the terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims in Anantnag is a “blot on all Muslims and Kashmiris””.
While visiting the injured in a hospital in Anantnag, she said the head of every Kashmiri hangs in shame over today’s incident. “Pilgrims come to Kashmir every year for the yatra despite all the difficulties. And seven people died today. I have no words to condemn it. I hope the security forces and the Jammu and Kashmir police arrest the perpetrators forthwith and take stern action against them,” the chief minister had said.
Significantly, when all political stalwarts were seen busy on their twitters and TV channels trying to project theirselves, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti spent the entire night with injured apologizing before them with folded hands. “And that was what required and expected from one and all stakeholders,” opined political observers.
On the other hand, when main opposition NC along with Congress and other political and social organizations with demand of Governor’s Rule, were participating in complete Jammu Bandh, next morning, former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah dubbed all those having such a demand as ‘Act of Fools’. He went ahead and stated “At this hour, we all must stand with government unitedly and try to give a loud and clear message that we all are one against terrorism and such cowardice acts.” He said that “Like a complete Bandh has been observed in Jammu, a similar bandh shall also be observed in Kashmir valley to give a message of communal harmony and brotherhood so that countrymen see that Kashmiris are not killers”.
Dr Farooq Abdullah appealed to the people to join the Amarnath Yatra in large numbers and to show the anti national elements that they are not afraid. He added that the attack is the blow to the secular character of the state. He called it the biggest tragedy Kashmiris have had to face.
Like Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Dr Abdullah too apologized to the people of the country saying those who fired upon innocent persons cannot be Muslims. While addressing the gathering on July 11 on 17th death anniversary of his mother Begum Akbar Jehan Abdullah at her mausoleum in Hazratbal in Srinagar, Dr Farooq Abdullah read famous couplets, “Mazhab Nahi Sikhaata Aapas Mein Bair Rakhna, Hindi Hain Hum, Watan Hai, Hindustan Hamaara,” and added that the whole of Kashmir had been saddened by the attack. The attackers wanted to create communal tension in the country.
“Even today, when a yatri comes here, it is the Kashmiri Muslim who carries his baggage. The Ponywala also is a Kashmiri Muslim,” Abdullah said.