Majid Kapra

Atmosphere of hate in country dividing communities: Abdullah

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Pandits part of our body; those living beyond Lakhanpur cannot feel their pain: Mufti

Srinagar: Former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said an atmosphere of hate has been created in the country that is driving a wedge between various communities and called for efforts to arrest this trend.

Abdullah said if the gap between the communities is to be bridged, the hateful campaigns like ‘The Kashmir Files’ film and incessant Hindu-Muslim debates on the media have to be stopped.

“If we have to come close to each other, this hate has to be removed. I told him (Lieutenant Governor) about that film (‘The Kashmir Files’) also. I asked him if he thought it can be true that a Muslim will kill a Hindu and then put the blood in rice and ask his wife to eat it? Do you think we have fallen so low?” the Lok Sabha member and National Conference president told reporters in Anantnag district.

Abdullah said ‘The Kashmir Files’ was a baseless movie which has not only spread hatred across the country but even here in Kashmir.

“Our youth is full of anger about how we have been projected in the movie. The injustices meted out to Muslims across the country are stoking passions among our youth as well. Such things (movies) should be stopped. The media, which is spreading hate in the country, should be stopped,” he added.

Abdullah said during a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Sunday, PAGD leaders raised the issue of killing of Kashmiri Pandit employee Rahul Bhat inside his office at Chadoora on May 12.

“We wanted to go to Kulgam where a Rajput was killed, we wanted to go to Budgam (Rahul Bhat’s residence) but you did not allow. We did not want to go there to do politics but to express solidarity with the bereaved. How can this continue? How will we come close to each other?” he asked.

Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti, who was part of the PAGD delegation that called on LG, said Kashmiri Pandits are like body parts of other fellow Kashmiris and those living beyond Lakhanpur cannot feel their pain.

“We discussed the overall situation of J&K with the LG. Pandits are part of our body. Those living beyond Lakhanpur will take time to feel their pain, but we know what Kashmiri Pandits mean to us. I heard that Rahul Bhat was a good guy and was treating everyone well, but unfortunately became the victim of BJP’s hate policy,” Mufti said.

She alleged that BJP exploits these incidents across India with intentions to increase alienation and hatred against Muslims living in the country.

She also said the NC, PDP and Congress governments ensured the safety of Kashmiri Pandits even at the peak of unrest in the Valley in 2010 and 2016.

“Even during the peak unrest in 2010 and 2016, there was no killing of Kashmiri Pandits. But the atmosphere of hate they have created, especially after ‘The Kashmir Files’ movie, a narrative is being pushed to poison minds. Muzaffar Shah, during our interaction with the LG, told him that this constant “Hindu-Muslim debate on TV channels for four hours is further fuelling this. It also directly affects the people of Jammu and Kashmir because when you target Muslims, it widens the gap,” Mufti said.

“I also told LG Sahab that it’s not issues of Rahul Bhat or Pandit community, but outcome of the general situation you have created in J&K over the past four to five years. Arrests goes on unabated, if a journalist talks, he is being jailed, at least 84 undertrial detainees were transferred to other jails a day earlier,” she added.

She said those shifted to outside J&K jails belong to poor families who cannot afford to go there and meet them in jails, not to talk of hiring a lawyer for pursuing their cases.

Mufti said until and unless the Government of India changes its policy with regard to J&K, Rahul Bhat like children will continue to die. She said BJP policy over the last four to five years has created a sense of fear and alienation among the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mufti also said that she told LG Sinha that Jammu and Kashmir had acceded with India with the hope that the state will be treated in a different and special way but the GoI’s policy for the last four to five years has created a sense of fear and alienation among masses.

She also said the UT administration did not allow her to visit Sheikhpora, Budgam where KPs were protesting against Rahul Bhat’s killing nor was she allowed to visit the family of another Kashmiri Pandit who was attacked and injured by militants in Harmain Shopian.

“We are not allowed to be the part of sorrow not to talk of joy; I was not allowed to visit the site where KPs were protesting Rahul Bhat’s killing. Before that I was not allowed to visit Harmain Shopian wherein another Kashmiri Pandit was attacked and injured earlier, to express sympathies with the family,” she said.

Asked about the ongoing survey at Gyanvapi mosque complex, she said the BJP should give a list of all mosques they want to take over. “Babri mosque was brought down and now they want to build something else there…These claims on mosques are only to fuel hate,” she said.

Mufti wondered if the government would focus on development agenda like providing two crore jobs annually and bringing down the fuel costs to pre-2014 levels once these mosques were given to them.

“I have said this earlier as well. For us Muslims, Allah is where we prostrate,” she added.

Mufti said the BJP and other right wing groups were going after assets build by the Mughals.

“What all will they bring down? Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar, Red Fort …. All these were built by the Mughals. Fifty percent of tourists come to our country to visit these historical places,” she added.

The delegation of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) met Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar on Sunday. (With PTI inputs)

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