‘Will Take Back What Delhi Snatched,’ Says Mehbooba

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Srinagar: Shortly after being released from detention on Tuesday, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti posted a message on Twitter saying the people of Kashmir will never forget the “insult” and “humiliation” they faced when New Delhi “illegally” and in an “undemocratic” manner revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5.

In the audio message, she also called the New Delhi’s August 5 move a “black decision taken on a black day”.

“I am released after more than a year. During my time in detention, the black decision of the black day in August 2019 continued to attack my heart,” Mufti said in the audio clip posted with a black plaque.

“I feel this must have been the condition of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. None of us can forget the insult of that day. Now we need to take back what Delhi Darbar took away from us illegally and in an undemocratic manner.

“Not only this we will have to continue our struggle for the resolution of Kashmir issue for which thousands of our people have laid down their lives. I know the way ahead is not easy, but our resolve will help us tread the path,” Mufti added.

Today, when I am being let off, I demand the release of others who are still in detention illegally,” Mufti said in the message.

Mufti was released on Tuesday night as the Union Territory administration revoked the Public Safety Act charges against her, more than a year after she was detained following the abrogation of special status of the erstwhile state.

The release of the first ever woman chief minister of J&K comes ahead of the expiry of the deadline set by Supreme Court, which had been approached by her daughter Iltija Mufti with a habeas corpus petition challenging her “illegal” detention.

The top court had on September 29 given the administration of Jammu and Kashmir till October 14 to explain how long they intended to keep Mufti in custody. The Deputy Commissioner ordered that the PSA has been revoked with immediate effect. Her detention period had been extended for a period of three months on July 31 this year.

SCENES AT MUFTI RESIDENCE

Meanwhile, the scenes at the residence of party president Mehbooba Mufti after her release from detention suggest that there is a lot of fight left in her.

From a 70-year-old party worker from south Kashmir to whatever remains of the senior party leadership, PDP members on Wednesday made a beeline to Fairview Bungalow — the official residence of Mehbooba — hoping to meet the woman who is now being dubbed by her admirers as the ‘Iron Lady of Kashmir’.

She is ready for the fight, was the common refrain of those who met her.

The PDP is using social media to the hilt to enhance the image of Mehbooba, the first and last woman chief minister of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state, by posting videos and photographs of her meetings with her party workers.

Noor Mohammad, a party worker from south Kashmir who can barely stand upright due to old age, was among the people who met Mehbooba Mufti less than 24 hours after her release.

“I left home at 6 AM to ensure that I returned only after meeting my sister and leader Mehbooba ji. Her father (late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed) was blessed, so is she,” the elderly man said.

The scenes at Mehbooba’s residence were in complete contrast to last year when leader after leader deserted the PDP and later joined hands with Altaf Bukhari — a former minister and close aide of the PDP president who floated his own political outfit later.

“Mehbooba Ji was detained for the longest period which shows how much the BJP government at the Centre is frightened of her popularity among the masses,” Bashir Ahmad, a party worker from Anantnag district, said after meeting the PDP president.

Several PDP leaders, including former MLA from Wachi Aijaz Mir, posted laudatory tweets about the party leader.

“After a detention period of 1 year and 2 months, our party president @MehboobaMufti sahiba released today. We salute her steadfast determination & exemplary courage!” Mir tweeted.

Mohit Bhan, a spokesman of the PDP, praised Mehbooba for her message.

“That’s how a leader talks. No 4G restoration demands. No Statehood restoration demands. One and only demand and resolve to fight for it. Restore our dignity, restore our pride and restore our rights,” Bhan said.

Firdous Tak, a former MLC, said it was the pressure of the Supreme Court that has worked in getting Mehbooba Mufti released.

Besides party workers, senior National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah and People’s Conference Chief Sajad Gani Lone visited Mehbooba Mufti at her residence.

Senior Congress leader Karan Singh welcomed Mehbooba Mufti’s release and expressed the hope that she will strengthen the democratic process by taking her agenda to the people once fresh elections take place.

DMK chief M K Stalin also expressed happiness over her release and urged the government to free other political detainees.

“The democratic processes, which have been suspended during this time, must also be reinstated,” he tweeted. (With PTI inputs)

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