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Mehbooba warns against harassment of militants' families

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 Srinagar: After meeting a suspected militant's sister, who was allegedly beaten up by Jammu and Kashmir police, former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday warned of "dangerous consequences" if harassment of militants' families is not stopped.

She met the woman, Rubina, at her residence in south Kashmir's Pulwama district.

"Visited Patipora Pulwama where Rubina (whose brother happens to be a militant) was, along with her husband & brother, beaten mercilessly in police custody. The severe nature of her injuries has left her bedridden," Mufti wrote on Twitter.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president appealed to Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik to take action against police officials involved in the incident.

"Urge the jandkgovernor to initiate action and prevent such incidents in the future. If harassment of families of militants isn't stopped, it will have consequences leading to further alienation in the valley," Mufti said.

Later, talking to reporters, she said such incidents would not be tolerated.

"What is the fault of the sister of a militant? She has been stripped and beaten by the SHO of Trikuta Nagar and of Bhatindi (in Jammu). First, you (male police officials) cannot touch a woman and you should have women police for that. Then, her husband and brother have (also) been beaten," Mufti said.

"I want to ask the governor that if you have a fight with a militant, why are his relatives, especially his sister, beaten? We will not allow this. I want to tell the governor and warn the police as well that if there is another such incident, then there will be dangerous consequences," she said.

According to a PDP spokesmen, Mehbooba on Sunday visited various areas of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district and during her visit, the PDP President met Rubeena, who recently was arrested and tortured in custody by male police only because she was a militant’s sister.

Mufti was appraised by Rubeena’s family that her husband and another brother continue to remain under detention and both have been tortured in custody.

Mehbooba also demanded that militants should be dealt as individuals and their families who have nothing to do with the actions of their children should be spared and not targeted. “Police and other security forces cannot function outside the ambit of law. That will create more problems than it solves. On the one side, we have been making claims that we want to take youngsters away from violent methods but on the other hand, it seems that the government is doing everything to push them further into this unending cycle of violence,” she said.

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