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BJP promoting ‘The Kashmir Files’ to instigate people on religious lines: Mufti

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Calls for setting up a panel to probe circumstances of Pandit exodus

Jammu: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti Wednesday alleged that the BJP was promoting “The Kashmir Files” to incite people on religious lines and called for setting up of a panel to probe the circumstances that led to the exodus of Pandits from the Valley.

Her demand came a day after National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah also called for setting up a panel to investigate the killings and the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley.

Asking people to watch the film but not harbour hatred towards Muslims, Mufti said the circumstances that led to the 2020 Delhi riots and the communal violence in Gujarat in 2002 should also be probed.

“Of course, the government of India should take a decision in this regard (probing the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits),” she told reporters on the sidelines of her party’s convention here.

The former chief minister said the Centre should set up a “truth and reconciliation commission” to probe not only the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, but also the Gujarat and Delhi riots.

“I have not seen ‘The Kashmir Files’. I have heard that the film shows a lot of violence and bloodshed and that it has painful scenes. What happened with the Kashmiri Pandits was horrible. We feel their pain. But you cannot hate every Kashmiri Muslim (for the exodus of Pandits),” she said.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief recounted the massacres of Sikhs in Chittisinghpura, Hindus in Bajrala (Doda) and Kotdhara, and Muslims in Surankote and said, “Every community faced the worst oppression in Jammu and Kashmir. The people of Jammu and Kashmir were caught between the guns of Pakistan and India. The Kashmiri Pandits were also victims of it.”

Maintaining that the makers of the “The Kashmir Files” have to make money, Mufti accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of promoting the film to incite people on religious lines.

“The prime minister and the BJP are promoting it by giving free tickets and making it tax-free. They are inciting people. They divide people on religious lines,” she said.

Taking a dig at the saffron party for its “failure” to address the concerns of Kashmiri Pandits, Mufti said had it done anything for the Pandits in the last eight years, their situation could have improved.

“Whatever was done for them — employment packages, rehabilitating them in flats after bringing them out of tents (refugee camps), transit accommodation facilities at Vessu, Sheikhpora, Mattan or Tulmulla — all of it was done when Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was the chief minister during the rule of Atalji (former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee) in the country,” she added.

She also alleged that instead of solving basic problems of the masses, the BJP is brazenly indulging in creating an atmosphere of hatred and division across the country.

“Atmosphere of hate suits BJP to consolidate its vote base. Since 2014, we are watching how the BJP is reaping political benefits of the divisive rhetoric,” Mufti said earlier while addressing the party convention.

“Except hoodwinking the gullible masses by raking up emotive issues, BJP has done nothing to solve the basic problems of the people,” she said and pointed out that every section of the society — be it youth, women, working-class, weaker sections, and minorities – “are bearing brunt of the wrong policies of BJP”.

“As day to day problems of the masses are compounding due to wrong policies of the government, the BJP is shamelessly indulging in fueling hatred across the country to divert peoples’ attention from basic issues like unemployment, inflation, etc,” the PDP president said.

PDP president also said that J&K has been plunged into an unprecedented crisis after the abrogation of Article 370 and downgrading of the erstwhile state into two Union Territories (UTs).

“Even as the whole of J&K has suffered immensely on the economic front due to devastating steps taken by Centre and the J&K administration, Jammu region is the worst victim of the government’s policies,” she alleged.

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