SRINAGAR PDP president Mehbooba Mufti Saturday alleged that there were attempts to “intimidate” the people of Kashmir following the Pulwama terror strike, and said her party will not allow the BJP to turn Jammu and Kashmir into a “theatre of war for electoral gains”.
At a meeting of PDP’s top leadership here to discuss the prevailing political situation in Jammu and Kashmir, she also said banning Jamat-e-Islami (JeI) was “undemocratic, unconstitutional and an attempt to hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims” all across.
“Repressive measures and iron fist approach are being rigorously implemented with common masses threatened, intimated and harassed by the government at large.
“The PDP will remain in the forefront to oppose any such move. The policies being adopted by the central leadership towards the state are turning the already crisis-ridden region into a veritable inferno,” Mufti said.
She also hit out at the BJP government at the Centre, saying, “Kashmiri students outside Jammu and Kashmir are being targeted, traders harassed all across and inside Kashmir, religious outfits are banned with clerics bundled in jails like criminals.”
The Centre had on February 28 banned the Jamat-e-Islami (JeI) Jammu and Kashmir for five years under anti-terror law on grounds that it was “in close touch” with militant outfits and is expected to “escalate secessionist movement” in the state.
Mufti said, “We have been saying this since day one that JeI is an idea. Ideas cannot be chained, banned or killed. Ideas are bulletproof and in democracy, ideas are allowed to flourish and not choked. What the BJP is doing at present is nothing but a clear vendetta against anyone who dares to oppose its policies.”
The PDP president claimed that JeI has been credited for running schools and is a socio-religious organization which is totally non-violent and has on many occasions publicly disapproved of violence as a method of political struggle.
“Banning it will further shrink the space for politics and dialogue and it seems that the Government of India is now completely depending on force as a measure to subjugate the people of state.
“However, it has to understand that no muscular policy will work as it has never worked in the past and it will never work in future also. The BJP’s attempts to turn J-K into a theatre of war for electoral gains will be fervently opposed and foiled by the PDP,” she said.
Mufti alleged that the Central government was pushing the people of Jammu and Kashmir to a corner and their constitutional rights were being “trampled upon”.
“The need of the hour is that the Government of India stops this muscular policy and understands that dialogue is the only way forward,” she said.