Press Trust of india

PDP chief hits back at LG on ‘terrorists and their families given jobs’ remark

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Rajouri/Jammu: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday hit back at Lt Governor Manoj Sinha over his remarks that previous governments in Jammu and Kashmir “provided jobs to terrorists and their families”, saying this “is not our tradition” but giving employment to “hooligans” might have been a custom in Uttar Pradesh.

“LG Sahab has come from Uttar Pradesh and was probably speaking about his experience there. There might have been a tradition to provide jobs to mafia and hooligans in Uttar Pradesh but that is not our tradition,” the former chief minister said in Rajouri when asked by reporters about his statement at a function in Jammu on Monday. 

Mufti also attacked the BJP, alleging it has created a fear psychosis in Jammu and Kashmir by making random arrests and is using the same policy in the rest of the country to silence the voice of the Opposition.

In a veiled attack on the National Conference (NC), the Congress and the PDP, LG Sinha on Monday had said previous governments had provided jobs to terrorists and their family members, while his administration has made the recruitment process transparent to ensure jobs are given to meritorious students only.

“What can they say who provided jobs to terrorists and their family members? They have no right to speak against the recruitment process when they have made one lakh back door appointments. The time has gone when the jobs were selling in shops,” the LG had said.

His comments came close on the heels of NC president Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti recently joining a candlelight vigil by job aspirants protesting against the hiring of a previously blacklisted company for conducting computer-based written tests.

Earlier addressing a public meeting in Rajouri, Mufti claimed that “Jammu and Kashmir is going through a very difficult phase and people are frightened to speak on any issue”. 

“Inflation has broken the back of people, unemployment is on the rise despite a promise by the BJP that it will create jobs for the youth after the abrogation of Article 370,” she said.

The government in 2019 had abrogated the article, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated it into union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. 

Seeking people’s support, Mufti said she can do nothing on her own. “You have to join me and strengthen my voice to safeguard our identity and culture, land and jobs, besides fighting oppression,” she said.

Defending her party’s alliance with the BJP in 2014, Mufti said PDP patron and former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed took the “difficult decision” in view of the people’s mandate to the BJP in Jammu in the 2014 Assembly elections. 

“It was not the PDP which brought the BJP to power in J&K…The fact is that we implemented the party’s (PDP) agenda and did not allow the BJP to run its agenda,” she claimed.

“Our efforts kept Article 370 safe and after the fall of the government, the BJP abrogated Article 370 which came like an earthquake, and its aftershocks are still rattling J&K in the form of various laws like property tax,” Mufti said and added that the PDP did not allow the BJP to “bulldoze houses”. 

The PDP “even withdrew cases against 12,000 youth who were jailed and shifted to outside jails (in places) such as Agra and Haryana after 2019,” the former chief minister said. 

Referring to Hurriyat’s Syed Ali Shah Geelani not allowing entry to parliamentarians into his house in September 2016, she said: “We tried to rope in the Hurriyat Conference for dialogue and wrote a letter to them to meet visiting parliamentarians but they shut their doors to the guests, giving a wrong message across the country!”

Mufti also said that her government had also announced a one-month unilateral ceasefire with militants but there was no positive response from the other side.

“The PDP government had also cleared the decks for the regularisation of 60,000 casual labourers but nothing moved after the fall of the government and they are still on the roads,” she claimed.

Referring to the slapping of Public Safety Act (PSA) on politicians, including herself in 2019, she said “they dubbed us anti-national and did not allow the opposition to raise their voice”. 

“They are utilising the same experiment in other parts of the country, jailing political leaders on the false charges of corruption,” she said.

The PDP will not stay silent and will continue to raise its voice against the BJP government which is violating the constitution and trampling democracy, Mufti said.


Mufti visits Dhangri village in Rajouri

Jammu: PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday visited Dhangri village of Rajouri district, where terrorists killed seven villagers and injured 14 others early this year.

The former chief minister expressed condolences to the families of the victims and shared their grief, a PDP spokesperson said.

Terrorists opened indiscriminate firing on villagers in Dhangri village on the outskirts of Rajouri town on January 01, and left behind an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which went off the next morning.

While five persons were killed in the terrorist firing, two children lost their lives in the explosion.

Saroj Bala, a widow who lost both her sons – Deepak Sharma (27) and Prince Sharma (21) — showed the scene to Mufti where the terrorists opened fire on the villagers, the spokesman said.

He said the PDP chief became emotional on listening to the stories of the victim families and assured them that the assailants will not escape the wrath of the almighty.

The terrorists involved in the attack are still at large and efforts are on to neutralise them, according to officials.

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