Leaves press conference in a huff, slams comparisons between 2010 and 2016 uprisings
Srinagar: It was a press conference chief minister Mehbooba Mufti would have loved to avoid.
When a reporter pointed to her transformation from a rights crusader during 2010 uprising to an apologist for the state brutalities in 2016, she became irrititated, raised her voice and asked journalists to refrain from comparing the two uprisings.
“Your analysis is wrong. There was a fake encounter in Machil, allegations of rape and murder. There was a reason for public anger,” said an enraged Mehbooba.
She sought to dissociate her government from the killings and massive use of force in the wake of the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani last month, which triggered the uprising.
“What is the government’s fault? People came out on roads and we imposed curfew. Did the child (killed in firing) go to an army camp for buying toffee? Did the 15-year-old who attacked Damhal Hanjipora police station fetch milk there? Don’t compare 2010 and 2016?” she said adding.
“95 per cent of the people killed are poor people and they got killed in retaliation while attacking security camps and establishments,” said Mehbooba, flanked by India’s home minister Rajnath Singh.
A journalist shouted “yeh bagawat hain (it is a rebellion)”.
“Why don’t you hold a rally of the 95 per cent, Mehbooba jee?” shouted another journalist.
Mehbooba replied, “Unfortunately miscreants use children as a shield to attack camps. They want young children should get killed and blinded.”
Another journalist shouted, “People on roads want Azadi.”
Sensing the charged up atmosphere, Rajnath interrupted, saying, “Mehhbooba jee apke ghar ki hain.”
With rising irritation, Mehboob, addressing Singh, and invoking her role as “a saviour”, gesticulated towards the journalists, saying, “Muje kya kahenge yeh sir. yeh jo bache hain maine inko chaku se nikala hain jab task force ke gyspy ko dekh ke ye baagte the (What will they say, sir. These kids, I saved them from the knife of the Task Force… they would run at the mere sight of the Task Force gypsy)”.
“Jab inko begaar ke liye lejate the, gaas katne ke liye lete the in bachun ko south Kashmir ke bachun ko maine nikala hain (when the (army) would make them work forcibly and make them cut grass…these children, children of south Kashmir I have saved,” she said.
Mehbooba said, “Nothing is going to be resolved by throwing stones and attacking camps”.
Mehbooba left in a huff, while Singh was still seated, saying, “Thank you, have a cup of tea.” The majority of the journalists left the venue without tea.
Reiterating her tough stand, which is in line with the hardening stand of her ally BJP, she said, “The five percent” of people who have made the lives of 95 percent a hell would have to face legal action.”
“Our focus should be the majority and the 5 % will have to face legal action. They won’t be allowed to make the lives of the majority a hell,” Mehbooba told reporters at her Fairview Gupkar residence.
In the 25-minute presser, Mehbooba said 95% of population of Jammu and Kashmir especially the Valley wants solution Kashmir through peaceful means and dialogue.
“They don’t want to throw stones on roads. Let’s differentiate between those people who want resolution of a problem through dialogue and reconciliation. And those people who exploit and prepare young and poor children to throw stones on camps and roads,” she added.