Release Hurriyat leaders and initiate dialogue: NC

Srinagar:  In view of reports of deteriorating of health of certain Hurriyat leaders who have been under continuous detention for nearly three months, National Conference today asked the State Government to ensure immediate medical checkups of the Hurriyat leaders and order their released any further delay as a first step towards the initiation of a sincere and meaningful dialogue process.

In a joint party statement issued from NC Headquarters in Srinagar, NC Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani, former Speaker of Legislative Assembly Mubarak Gul and former minister Mian Altaf Ahmed said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s ham-handed approach in dealing with the sensitive and fragile situation in the Valley was dangerous and counterproductive.

They also expressed concern on behalf of the party over the deteriorating health of hundreds of detainees who have been lodged in various police stations and jails.

“There have been some reports about health concerns for some Hurriyat leaders and numerous other detainees and it is the responsibility of the State Government to ensure proper and regular medical checkups and their release which would pave way for a credible engagement. Any laxity in this regard could have serious consequences in a situation which continues to be extremely sensitive”, the joint party statement said.

“Mehbooba Mufti’s ham-handed approach in dealing with the political situation in Kashmir is proving to be counterproductive and threatens to further alienate the youth,” the senior leaders said.

They added that instead of taking steps to encourage a dialogue between various stakeholders and the Central Government, the Mehbooba Mufti PDP-BJP Government is playing an active role in preventing dialogue and political engagement.

“Not only does this approach contradict the promises made in the ‘Agenda of the Alliance’ but it has also created a political vacuum in the State”, the statement added.

The NC Leaders said PDP’s ‘Battle of Ideas’ slogan had been rubbished by the party itself and was replaced by a ‘Battle against Ideas’ policy where indiscriminate arrests, mass repression and intimidation were preferred alternatives to talks.

“More than 9,000 youth have been arrested while the Police is still actively pursuing another 6,000 youth. Nocturnal raids are being conducted across the State and standing crops are being burnt to punish the people of the State. Houses are being ransacked and even the sick and elderly are not being spared. It has become evident and clear beyond any doubt that Mehbooba Mufti has decided to wage a war against the people of Kashmir”, the NC leaders added. (PTK)

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