Majid Kapra

Minorities feel threatened under BJP rule: Farooq

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Photo/Javed Khan

Srinagar, Mar 08: National Conference president Farooq Abdullah Friday said the ruling dispensation was creating rifts between various religions and the minorities were feeling “threatened”.

He was speaking at a function organised here to welcome former IPS officer Shafqat Ali Wattali into the party fold.

“Unfortunately, in this election, the party that is ruling is creating a rift between various religions that is a tragedy for the country. Muslims feel threatened, minorities feel threatened…that is unfortunate,” Abdullah told reporters.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should make it clear that the country does not belong to only “one party or a particular sect of people”.

Reacting to the Supreme Court’s decision to refer the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case for mediation, the NC leader said he would not go against the court’s decision.

“It is fine that both the parties agreed for mediation under the Supreme Court. And we too accept the decision,” he said.

The Supreme Court on Friday referred the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case for mediation by a panel headed by former apex court judge F M I Kallifulla and gave it eight weeks to complete the process.

On the crackdown on separatists and Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir, the former chief minister said “repressive measures” and jailing people won’t solve any issue.

Responding to a query that Centre imposed ban on Jamaat to clear decks for abrogation of Article 35-A, NC president said “this is your misconception, don’t link the two. Had this been the case then we all including Congress leaders would also have been arrested as we all support Article 35-A.”

He said “NC has categorically made it clear that repressive measures and caging people will not resolve any issue but talks will. Without dialogue we cannot move beyond. Yasin Malik has been shifted to Jammu, will that resolve issue, will Maisuma be silent…,” he added.

He said these attempts were made earlier by the then Governor Jagmohan who closed all Jammat-run schools in the Valley, sealed its offices and arrested its leaders “but what was the outcome – nothing; ultimately the then Prime Minister of India had a dialogue with everyone.”

Batting for autonomy, the former chief minister said Kashmir has always been a battlefield for elections. “Now time has come when both nations (India and Pakistan) have to initiate a dialogue to find a lasting solution to this issue, and we have to give autonomy across both sides the border as there is no way out other than that.”

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