National Conference Working President Omar Abdullah on Monday said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was personally and directly supervising a selective crackdown on Hurriyat leaders based on their level of public opposition to her party’s recurring U-turns ahead of her by-election from Anantnag.
Addressing party workers in Beerwah Omar Abdullah said it was clear that the Chief Minister was spooked by her growing unpopularity ahead of the Anantnag by-polls and intended to re-arrest all Hurriyat leaders as soon as the election concluded. “The same Mehbooba Mufti who advocated political engagement and dialogue with Hurriyat leaders is now supervising a selective crackdown on those separatist leaders who are more open and stinging in their criticism of her policies and U-turns. It was PDP that assured the separatists a ‘Battle of Ideas’ where they would be free to advocate their views in a democratic and free manner. Today she has gone from that self-righteous moral pedestal to the role of personally directing arrests and using almost three decade old cases to send separatist leaders to jail”, the NC Working President said.
“When we asked Mehbooba Mufti in the Legislative Assembly why Separatist Leaders were being arrested rather than being invited for talks as she and her party had promised, she responded by saying that these arrests were being carried out to prevent Hurriyat leaders from disrupting the tourist season. It took her one trip to Anantnag to see how exceedingly unpopular she had become and how there was a growing wave of resentment against her and PDP at the grassroots level. The adverse reports from Anantnag have frightened her into believing that releasing selected separatist leaders for a week only to be re-arrested later will somehow help her in salvaging her precipitously deteriorating position”, Omar Abdullah added.
NC Working President said Mehbooba Mufti’s glaring ideological contradictions and changing stances on sensitive issues had created an unprecedented and dangerous atmosphere of anxiety in the State. “The Chief Minister has chosen to vacillate on highly sensitive issues like Kashmir Pandit rehabilitation in townships and the issue of Sainik Colonies. As the principal opposition party we have sought clarity from her government on these issues time and again but her response has been that of hostility and petulance – which is unbecoming of a Chief Minister. She contradicts what her spokespersons and Cabinet Ministers say about these issues and in turn they contradict her assurances made on the floor of the assembly. This inherent confusion and chaos within the PDP-BJP Government has resulted in a situation where the dividends of hard-earned relative peace ensured during the tenure of the previous Government are not being consolidated upon”, Omar Abdullah said.
“There is a drastic increase in violence and a decrease in basic governance. Development in the State has come to a standstill and our policemen are being targeted in broad daylight. When Chief Minister is asked to respond to genuine apprehensions in a responsible manner she sadly loses her temper and resorts to diversions and distractions to escape accountability,” NC working president added.