Pro-freedom leaders say ‘battle of ideas’ a farce

Safeena Wani
Srinagar: With the pattern of pro-freedom leaders being detained or put under house arrest continuing, many of them have lambasted CM Mufti Sayeed’s ‘battle of ideas’ theory as a farce, saying the incumbent chief minister is ‘strengthening the RSS in Kashmir’.
Senior leader Shabir Shah, who has faced 131 days of house arrest ever since Mufti assumed power, said the present dispensation has duped Kashmiris by floating the ‘battle of ideas’ theory even as it is practising a ‘house arrest policy’ to choke dissent. “Actually, Mufti is strengthening the RSS in Kashmir. He is a crafty liar, who breaks promises only to keep his Hindutva bosses in good humour,” he said. Adding that the PDP was following the NC, Shah said the ‘house arrest policy’ was bound to backfire: “He (Mufti) is not the only one to stick to such autocratic tactics. His predecessors also used the same and failed miserably. They have shamed themselves as such things never break our will to strive for our judicious cause.”
“After Mufti made a mockery of his much-touted ‘battle of ideas’, his senior minister AR Veeri said in the recently-concluded Assembly session that the government doesn’t believe in house arrest policy, and yet they are adhering to it,” said Javaid Mir, another senior pro-freedom leader. “I believe this government has lost its own plot.”
Another senior leader, Nayeem Khan, said he senses a larger ploy behind the government’s ‘desperate’ house arrest measures. “Mufti is not the first chief minister to stick to this policy. But the way he is resorting to it makes one believe that he is encouraging the RSS in Kashmir like no other chief minister.” During his election campaign, Khan said, Mufti had promised that he would usher in ‘new governance’ in state by taking the resistance camp along. “But after elections, it seems Delhi has modified his script,” said Khan, who has faced house arrests for over four months since Mufti took over.
Hurriyat (G) spokesperson, Ayaz Akbar said the ailing Syed Ali Geelani has been under house arrest ever since he returned from New Delhi early this year. “I think that is enough to comprehend Mufti’s battle of ideas,” Akbar added.