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NC warns of civil disobedience movement

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Asks govt to sack Lal Singh, Chandra Prakash Ganga; expels Hiranagar block prez

Srinagar, Apr 13: National Conference (NC) on Thursday warned of launching a civil disobedience movement against the government if it failed to act against two ministers who rallied in support of the accused in Asifa rape-and-murder case.

In a statement, an NC spokesman said that the party’s core group met today in which it was resolved that the party will not cooperate with the State government until and unless the two erring Cabinet ministers are sacked for their “unacceptable, abhorrent and criminal behavior in the light of this tragedy and its politicization.”

During the meeting held under the chairmanship of president Farooq Abdullah at Nawa-e-Subh complex here, the party also expressed solidarity with the victim’s family, a party press release said .

It said the core group discussed in detail the “insensitive handling” of the horrific Kathua rape and murder case by the State government and also expressed disappointment at the failure of the Chief Minister to act against two Cabinet ministers who openly rallied support to divisive groups out to subvert the investigation and shield the accused.

The core group resolved the party would consider launching a civil disobedience movement against the State government if it fails to act against the ministers.

Earlier in the day NC working president Omar Abdullah said “Mehbooba Mufti will have to decide whether she is ready to work with those ministers who are trying to save the killers of the girl.”

“The ministers who took part in the rally in support of victim’s killers, the ministers who said police should not make any arrests in this case, the ministers who pointed fingers against own police force, the ministers who said there is jungle raj in the state, they have no right to stay in the cabinet,” he said.

Abdullah said Mehbooba will have to show the same courage in taking action against the BJP ministers as she did when she sacked senior PDP leader and the then Finance minister Haseeb Drabu.

“Mehbooba Mufti took action against Haseeb Drabu. I don’t think his crime was so big as that of these BJP ministers. If Mehbooba says she showed courage in acting against Drabu, she needs to show same courage again in taking action against these ministers as well,” he said.

Omar also said the assertion by a PDP spokesman that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take action against BJP ministers in the state was just an excuse.

“This is just an excuse that the prime minister will take action. The prime minister does not take decision on J&K ministers. The chief minister decides who will be the ministers in the state cabinet,” he added.

Two BJP ministers – Forest minister Choudhary Lal Singh and Industries minister Chander Prakash Ganga – had participated in a rally organized by Hindu Ekta Manch in support of the accused in the Kathua case.

“The Core Group also expressed serious concern over the unabated civilian killings in Kashmir and said the government had failed to protect the lives of innocent civilians by abdicating its basic moral and legal responsibilities,” the press release said.

The core group, according to the release, said the deteriorating law and order situation in the State was a matter of grave concern and reflected the continued adverse implications of the ruling dispensation’s “opportunism and anti-people policies.”

The core group meeting was also attended by NC general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, Mohammad Shafi Uri, Abdul Rahim Rather, Mubarak Gul, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Chaudhary Mohammad Ramzan, Nasir Aslam Wani, Devender Singh Rana, Ajay Sadhotra, Surjeet Singh Slathia, Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo, Khalid Najeeb Suharwardy, Mushtaq Ahmed Bukhari, Mian Altaf Ahmed, Javed Rana and Shammi Oberoi.

Meanwhile, a separate press release issued from Jammu said NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah today expelled Shanti Saroop, the party’s block president of Hiranagar-North in Kathua district with immediate effect.

According to a spokesperson, Shanti Saroop has been expelled from the primary membership of the National Conference for life.

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