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PDP demands restoration of pre-August 2019 status for J&K: Mehbooba Mufti

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Seeks probe into alleged attempt of abduction, molestation of girl by Armymen in Bandipora

Srinagar: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said her party was not merely demanding statehood but the restoration of pre-August 2019 status for Jammu and Kashmir.

She also called for resumption of dialogue for the resolution of the Kashmir issue and alleged that there was “jungle raj” in the country.

“We are not demanding (the return of) statehood. We are demanding the pre-August 05, 2019 position of J&K and we also want the Kashmir issue — for which thousands of youth have rendered sacrifices, lakhs of homes have been destroyed and losses in millions of rupees have been suffered — to be resolved by talking to Pakistan and the people of J&K,” Mufti said.

The PDP chief was speaking to reporters after the party’s convention in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Mufti said and people were being arrested first and then their crime was being proven.

“There is a saying that show me a person, I will show you the crime, which means that first they arrest a person, then they prove the crime. Many of our leaders are in custody and they have been shown no orders and there is nothing against them.

“There is jungle raj here right now, the jungle raj is happening across the country also now, but it is more so in J&K,” she said.

On the arrest of National Conference (NC) leader Hilal Lone, the former chief minister of the erstwhile state said the BJP government was “inflicting cruelty” on the people of Kashmir as well as the people in other parts of the country.

“Wherever they think there is some resistance, someone is raising his voice against their cruelty and tyranny, see they have arrested a 21-year-old girl, what they have done with the farmers… Some of the cruelty and tyranny that they have done in Kashmir is being witnessed in other parts of the country.

“Our farmer brothers and young girls are also now seeing what cruelty the BJP government is inflicting upon the people of Kashmir,” she said.

Asked about the future of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an alliance of several mainstream parties seeking the return of the special status of the erstwhile state, Mufti said the people want the alliance to continue.

“The Gupkar alliance talks about the aspirations of the people of J&K. The people of J&K want the alliance to continue and this alliance will be there till the people of J&K want it to be,” she said.

Mufti also demanded immediate release of all political prisoners and youths, including former MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid who is under detention since August 05, 2019 when the Centre abrogated Article 370.

Meanwhile, Mehbooba demanded an impartial probe into the alleged attempt of abduction and molestation of a minor girl by Army personnel in Bandipora district of north Kashmir, claiming the family was being pressurised to withdraw the FIR.

“Locals in Bandipora have alleged that 3 army men tried to abduct & molest a 9 year old girl. Her family is now being pressurised to withdraw the FIR. Its a complete travesty of justice & an impartial probe must be set up immediately so that they are given the harshest punishment (sic),” Mufti wrote on Twitter.

Police said the incident took place on February 10 in Ajas area of the north Kashmir district and three people have been arrested and an FIR has been registered against them.

“People alleged three persons were trying to kidnap a girl, so the police swung into action and the three were caught on the spot,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Bandipora, Rahul Malik said.

Malik, however, did not identify those arrested or disclose if they were security forces’ personnel.

The SSP said an FIR has been registered in the case.

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