BJP Seeks Mehbooba’s Arrest

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PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti addresses presser in Srinagar- KO Photo: Abid Bhat

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir BJP has demanded PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti’s arrest for her “seditious” remarks, wherein she said she would only hold the tricolour when the flag of the erstwhile state is restored.

The BJP said “no power on earth” can either hoist the state flag again or restore Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted a special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing reporters on Friday for the first time since her release from a 14-month detention following the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year, Mufti said she will only hold the national flag after the flag of Jammu and Kashmir is restored.

In an act seen as defiance, the flag of the erstwhile state was prominently placed on a table in front of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, along with that of her party, during a press conference.

“I request Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to take cognisance of the seditious remarks of Mehbooba Mufti, book her for the seditious act and put her behind bars,” Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina told reporters.

“We will sacrifice every drop of our blood for our flag, country and motherland. Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of our country, so only one flag can be hoisted in Jammu and Kashmir and that is the national flag,” he said.

Raina said the saffron party will not tolerate such “nefarious designs” aimed at instigating the people of Kashmir.

“I warn leaders like Mehbooba Mufti not to instigate the people of Kashmir. We will not allow anyone to disturb peace, normalcy and brotherhood. In case anything wrong happens, she will have to face the consequences,” he said.

If Kashmiri leaders are feeling insecure in India, they can go to Pakistan and China, he added.

Referring to the Centre’s move to abrogate Article 370 on August 5 last year, Raina said no decision taken by the government can be reversed.

He said Article 370 gave rise to separatism, militancy and was instrumental behind thousands of killings.

“As the government has permanently scrapped Article 370, no power on earth can restore it. No power on earth can hoist any flag other than the national flag in Jammu and Kashmir,” the BJP leader said.

Raina also said that “conspiracies of the Gupkar Gang” would not be tolerated and anyone challenging the unity and integrity of the country would be jailed.

This time we have Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah and those conspiring against the country will not be forgiven. We will give our blood and our lives for our motherland and the tricolour, Raina, holding the national flag in his hand, told reporters here.

Referring to the National Conference and PDP leaders, he claimed that when they are in power, they praise India, but when out of power, they remember Pakistan and China.

They will not be allowed to take forward an anti-India agenda. Let them try, this Gupkar Gang is getting strengthened from six parties to 600, we will not allow them to fulfil their dreams. They are a bunch of power hungry people and the people of Jammu and Kashmir know them very well…,” Raina alleged.

“What if Mehbooba does not hold the tricolour in her hand, there are crores of people in Jammu and Kashmir who love and respect the national flag from the core of their hearts,” he said.

We will celebrate October 26, the day when Maharaja Hari Singh signed the instrument of accession, as ‘Villai Diwas’ like Diwali and freedom celebration,” the BJP leader asserted.

“Any leader who is found conspiring against the country will pay a heavy price. They cannot save themselves and Tihar jail is waiting for them,” he added.

Mehbooba Disrespecting Indian Flag: Prasad

Earlier a senior BJP leader accused PDP president of “disrespecting” the Indian flag and asserted that the revocation of Article 370 was done constitutionally and that it will not be restored.

Her comments that she will not hold the tricolour till the Kashmiri flag is restored is “downright denunciation” of the national flag’s sanctity, senior BJP leader and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister had on Friday said that she was not interested in contesting elections or holding the tricolour, the national flag, till the constitutional changes enforced on August 5 last year were rolled back.

She said she would hold the tricolour only when the separate flag of the erstwhile state is restored.

Prasad asserted that Article 370, which gave the erstwhile state a special status and was revoked last year, will not be restored.

It was removed following a proper constitutional process and both Houses of Parliament approved it with overwhelming numbers, he said.

Revoking it was our commitment to the nation and people have appreciated it, he said.

In many ways, Mufti has shown serious disrespect to the very image of India which the tricolour represents, he added.

The minister also hit out at other opposition parties, saying they have maintained a stony silence at her remarks showing serious disrespect to the national flag, even as they criticise the saffron party at the “slightest of issues”.

“This is hypocrisy and double standard,” Prasad said.

He claimed that the revocation of the Article 370 has led to increased development in the union territory with the weaker sections of society, like SCs, STs, OBCs and women, enjoying the same rights that they do in the rest of the country.

People participated in local polls in Jammu and Kashmir with joy and happiness, he said.

“Some people and families who used to rule with impunity and without accountability are going to have problems,” he said.

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