'Kashmir A Pressure Cooker Without Safety Valve'

SRINAGAR: Strongly condemning the arrest of youth and political leaders People's Democratic Party (PDP) today accused government of converting Kashmir into a “pressure cooker without a safety valve”. 

Addressing a party workers meeting in Srinagar today the party president Mehbooba Mufti alleged that the anger management exercise by the government has reached a new and more atrocious level with people being denied even the basic liberties of expression. 

"Every means of expression is virtually sealed by an insecure government that has fully collaborated in the secret execution of Mohammad Afzal Guru and is now trying to raise its stock further in Delhi for being champions of enforcing a silence through undemocratic and illegitimate methods" she said.

The meeting called to discuss the situation created by the hanging of Afzal Guru was also attended by senior leader Maulvi Iftikhar Hussein Ansari, Naeem Akhtar, district president Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Abdul Hamid Kohsheen and other senior workers.

Mehbooba said hundreds of youth have been arrested throughout the division which include scores of teenagers as well. There are many instances in which a father has been arrested and kept as a hostage for 'good behaviour of his son', she said and added the government by resorting to such draconian methods is destroying whatever was left of our democratic claims. She said large number of youth affiliated with the PDP have been detained only to cater to NC's growing sense of insecurity in the wake of continued exposure through press reports of Omar Abdullah's role in facilitating Guru's execution. "The ruling party that has exploited Kashmir sentiment for decades to play the double game for retaining power has brought the state almost to the same situation that pushed Afzal Guru to gallows in 2001 at the hands of dreaded SOG, a creation of Farooq Abdullah"she said.

She said the intolerance of the government has definitely added to the deep psychological scars created by Afzal's hush hush hanging as against more transparent and legally tenable course adopted in other similar cases from other states. "Kashmir has gone unheard yet again and the government has used the familiar tactics of dominating the scene with overwhelming security deployment and indiscriminate arrests" Mehbooba said. 

Reiterating the party demand to return Afzal's remains to the family Mehbooba said that is the only sane option to reduce their pain of the family and the hurt sentiment of people at large. She said the government of India should not sit on prestige in a genuine and emotional issue like this which can have unpredictable consequences.

Mehbooba said while the people are still struggling to come out of the shock caused by the hanging the national conference living up to its tradition is busy in its petty schemes to serve its vested interest and that of the Abdullah family. She said the government was brazenly trying to transfer back the control of the Institute of Medical Sciences Soura to Abdullah family even though the court has upheld its takeover by the state government.

"Even though the High Court has categorically established that Abdullah family or the so called Trust had hardly any contribution in the institute the government has used this particular painful juncture for such a massive fraud on people in the belief that while everybody is focused on a tragic event they would carry out their tricks without being detected" she said. Mehbooba added that the entire cost of construction and establishment of the institute has been borne by the government and the Abdullah family does not have a claim even on a single brick of it.

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