SRINAGAR: People’s Democratic Party (PDP) legislator and Minister of State for Housing & Urban Development Social Welfare, Health & Medical Education, Asiea Naqash told Kashmir Raeder that in the 2010 anti-India uprising she herself went to police stations and secured the release of many stone-fighters.
Naqash said that stone-fighters used to appeal to her to secure their release and she would help them get out of jail.
“I remember one instance. I once had a stone-pelter released twice from jail. The second time I pleaded for his release, he said that madam, I won’t indulge in stone-throwing ever. But when he was released he was praised as the best stone-pelter (in the area), and then he died when he was cornered by police at Nowhatta. After that I regretted why I had him released,” Naqash said.
Naqash said that the young boys of Rainawari, the assembly constituency she represents, are being deliberately kept engaged in stone-throwing by “some elements”.
“Why are the youth of Rainawari found in police station all the time? Why do they go to Nowhatta to pelt stones as professionals? Why do they routinely complain of police or CRPF’s brutality? It is a deliberate attempt to keep the residents of Rainawari restricted to an education no more than Class 8 or Class 10. I don’t see any of them above this qualification. Some of them have not even gone to school. Why should Rainawari be dubbed as a stone-pelting area?” Naqash said.
Asked about her role in the ongoing uprising, she said, “This year politics has nothing to do with the arrests, detentions and people booked under Public Safety Act. SHO Soura himself told me that it is the first time he has seen politicians not interfering in matters of arrest or detaining of people. Police have their own duty to maintain law and order, and trust me, we have no role (this time).”
When asked if the image of her party (PDP) has been dented in this uprising, Naqash said, “How is PDP responsible? Tell me, what have we done? Whatever has happened is unfortunate. We are distressed at the people’s suffering.”
She did not want to comment on the resignation of PDP’s Srinagar MP, Tariq Hamid Karra.
“Tariq sahab is a big politician and I don’t want to comment on it,” she said. On the resignations of other party members, she said, “It should not have happened.”
On the people who were injured in the uprising, she said that her government would review their cases individually and then form a policy for their rehabilitation.
“I don’t want them to be registered as handicapped or disabled. My aim is to train them in such a manner that they can live their life with dignity,” she said.