National Conference on Saturday expressed shock, disappointment and disgust over PDP’s justification of the Handwara and Kupwara killings where the party had blamed the slain youth for the tragic loss of their own lives.
NC Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani said Mehbooba Mufti’s belated visit to Kupwara was a classic case of ‘too little, too late’, especially after the Chief Minister chose to remain in New Delhi while the youth were losing their lives in the Valley.
“PDP’s justification of the killings in Handwara and Kupwara is shocking to say the least. PDP has blamed the slain youth for their own deaths and have concluded the findings of the inquiry even before the inquiry has been initiated. This clearly indicates that the proposed judicial inquiry is a mere eye-wash and that PDP’s political compulsions are dictating their stand on the killings in Handwara and Kupwara. We strongly condemn PDP blaming the slain youth and believe this has yet again exposed the party’s complete political subservience to vested interests that don’t value Kashmiri lives”, the NC Provincial President said while talking to reporters in Srinagar.
The NC Provincial President questioned Mehbooba Mufti’s purely political, partisan meetings in New Delhi while the youth were being killed in Kupwara and asked the Chief Minister to clarify what apparent sense of urgency compelled her to meet BJP President Amit Shah and General Secretary Ram Madhav in Delhi when she should have rushed back to the Valley as soon as possible.
“An elected Chief Minister of a State saying that she was ‘fortunate’ to meet the Union Defence Minister is shocking and unbecoming of the stature and integrity of the Chief Minister’s chair. All these meetings were aimed at safeguarding her own political interests and those of her party and her continued refusal to rush back to the Valley is unpardonable. Then the insensitive, ruthless act of presenting a bouquet of flowers to the Prime Minister at a time of such misery and pain in the Valley is contemptuous to the bereaved families and the people of the State in general”, the NC Provincial President stated.
The NC Provincial President also questioned the handling of the situation by the State Administration and said new established procedures to prevent loss of lives were not followed as there was complete chaos and disarray due to the continued absence of the Chief Minister from her duties as the Head of the Unified Command and as the Home Minister of the State.
“Mehbooba Mufti’s ‘instructions’ to the Police and Security Forces to exercise restraint has little meaning now after we have already lost six innocent lives in the same district within a period of three days. For three days Mehbooba Mufti continued with her meetings and courtesy calls in New Delhi while the Valley was on the brink. This compounded the situation and resulted in further loss of lives”, Nasir Aslam Wani added.
“The shocking disparity in the visibility of Cabinet Minister between the NIT and the Handwara episodes is also a reflection of PDP’s priorities in ruling the State. PDP Ministers were on TV channels assuring the nation of the safety of non-local students at NIT almost every other hour despite being completely sidelined by the Union HRD Ministry.
On the contrary, we haven’t seen a single PDP Minister assure the youth of Kupwara and Handwara of their safety since the last four days. Are these not our children too? Don’t they deserve these assurances? Where has the entire Cabinet suddenly disappeared? Mehbooba Mufti should address the media and answer these vital questions. She cannot escape scrutiny and responsibility as the Chief Minister of the State”, the NC Provincial President further said while speaking to reporters at party headquarters in Srinagar.
The NC Provincial President said National Conference senior local leaders from the district have been stationed in Handwara and Kupwara all along and continue to stand in solidarity with the people in general and the bereaved families in particular.
“Our senior delegation was not allowed to visit Handwara and Kupwara yesterday despite the fact that we had clear, explicit permissions from the Police before we started towards Kupwara. We have spoken to the family members of the deceased youth and our hearts go out to them in their unimaginable grief and sorrow. These are inconsolable losses”, Nasir Aslam Wani added.