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Fight for restoration of ‘snatched’ rights peacefully, not with ‘stones or guns’: Mehbooba tells youth

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Jammu: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday called on the youth to join the struggle for restoration of their rights “snatched” by the Centre and said non-violence, not “stones or guns”, was the way ahead.

The former chief minister also said the BJP-led government had intelligence inputs about the possibility of civilian killings, but it deliberately refrained from cracking the whip.

“You have to understand the situation and become our voice…if you do not show courage today, the coming generations will raise a question as our land, jobs and even minor minerals are going to outsiders. It is imperative for us to stand up and struggle for our rights…,” Mufti said at the youth convention in the border district of Rajouri.

Insisting on a peaceful struggle for the cause, Mufti said, “God forbid, I will never ask you to pick up stones or guns. I know they have a bullet ready against those treading this path. You have to raise your voice and join us in a democratic struggle for our snatched rights.”

Referring to the recent killings of civilians, including those belonging to minority communities, in the Valley by militants, she said the government had prior intelligence inputs about the attacks but “did nothing”.

“Those who were killed were our own people, but 900 Kashmiri youth were arrested. Another 1,000 youth were picked up when the home minister visited Jammu and Kashmir (last month). Our jails are packed and hence, those arrested are now being shifted to the Agra jail,” she said.

Mufti said the government is coining words such as like “white collared militants, OGW (over ground workers) and hybrid militants” to justify the arrests and killings.

She asked the youth why the Kashmir issue, with “thousands of sacrifices over 30 years”, cannot be resolved peacefully when the farmers peacefully protesting against the three farm laws could convince the government to repeal them.

Mufti said she had full faith in the words of her father, who was proud over the granting of a “separate flag, constitution and land rights by India to the people of Jammu and Kashmir”.

Accusing the BJP of being “anti-Muslim”, she told the youth, “For them, we are the sons of (Mughal emperors) Babur and Aurangzeb, termites and cancer….you have to be our voice as they will continue their attempts to divide people to give legitimacy to its illegitimate decision of August 05, 2019.”

“Such a decision was the only prerogative of the constituent assembly. Only it could have taken a decision on Article 370. So, the decision taken on August 05, 2019, was illegitimate and unconstitutional,” Mufti said.

She said the people of Jammu are now realising the fallout of the decision as their land and jobs are going to outsiders, while the land in Kashmir is being provided to make concrete homes for security forces.

“Jammu and Kashmir is a Muslim-majority state, though the people of all faiths lived in complete harmony with each other. They are making attempts to change its demography through the August 05, 2019, decision,” Mufti said.

The PDF chief said she had not come to seek votes but wanted to caution the people about attempts to divide them on the basis of religion and caste.

“They are creating new parties every day to divide the people and want to win the next Assembly elections to validate its wrong decision (abrogation of Article 370) through the assembly,” she said. (With PTI inputs)

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