Jammu: The opposition members led by the former Chief Minister and leader of opposition Omar Abdullah on Wednesday boycotted the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s response on Governor’s address in the Legislative Assembly (LA).
The former CM said he decided to boycott her (Mehbooba) response on Governor address as the government failed to answer on the civilian killings in Kashmir.
“We came to know in newspapers that Chief Minister Sahiba is pained with the civilian killings. But she didn’t speak a single word about it in the House,” Omar Abdullah said while addressing the assembly on Wednesday.
Members of National Conference (NC), Congress and CPI(M) expressed anger over the death of a 22-year-old man allegedly in firing by security forces following the killing of a militant in Khudwani area of Kulgam district yesterday.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had yesterday expressed deep anguish over the killing of Khalid Hussain Dar of Redwani Payeen and directed the district administration to conduct a probe to know the reasons of the killing.
Responding to PDP senior leader Abdul Rehman Veeri who earlier said that the government has ordered magisterial inquiry to probe the civilian killings in Homeshali Bugh constituency in Kulgam district.
Veeri made the announcement aafter opposition party members jumped into the well of the house raising slogans and demanding a discussion on civilian killing.
“We are not satisfied with the reply of Veeri sahib. It would have been better that if CM Sahiba who is also chairperson of unified command and also holds portfolio of Home Ministry would have expressed her grief in this House,” Abdullah said.
Though, the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti appeared in the House but Abdullah continued his speech and said “she will come here to read her long speech but we are not ready to listen to her speech today in the House. I will not remain here,” he said and left the House.
He was followed by the other opposition members of National Conference and Congress who also left their seats vacant.
Later, talking to media persons outside Assembly hall, Abdullah launched a scathing attack on government and said the government has no moral responsibility to remain in chair if it thinks that civilian killings were not an issue.
“People are getting killed and if government thinks that civilian killings are not an issue then this government has no moral responsibility to rule,” he said.
Accusing the government of killing civilians, while referring to yesterday’s killing of 22-year-old in south Kashmir’s Khudwani area, Omar said that the slain had no gun in his hands. “Yesterday, this person who was killed hadn’t picked up any gun. He had bullet on his throat. Even a ruling minister acknowledged it. Are bullets fired on the ground or air? We wanted to ask the CM,” he said.
Abdullah said that during his tenure such killings also happened and he knew how these incidents pained me.
“We sought answer from government. We, instead of reading it in newspapers, wanted the CM to tell the same thing in the Assembly. But she didn’t come. She came in the house when I took up the issue but it was late for her as we had already decided to boycott her speech,” he said. Abdullah also mocked at the government for claiming that situation was under control in the state.
CPI (M) leader and MLA Kulgam M Y Tarigami and MLA Khansahab Hakim Muhammad Yaseen also did not attend the House during CM’s response on Governor address.
After raising slogans of ‘Stop Innocent Killings’ and ‘Stop Human Rights Violations’ for nearly half-an-hour, the entire opposition staged a walkout despite repeated assurances by the speaker that the government had already ordered a probe into the incident.
“Innocent killings are continuing unabated in Kashmir. A youth was killed yesterday in Kulgam. How long will we continue to carry the coffins of our youths?” CPI(M) legislator M Y Tarigami told reporters outside the House.
He said the opposition wanted the government to allow a discussion on the prevailing situation in the state.
“We want a discussion on the issue and know the policy of the government for stopping innocent killings. Let the chief minister state the position of the government in this matter.
If the innocent killings continue, what is the fun of our sitting in the legislative assembly?” the Left leader asked.
NC legislator Abdul Majeed Larmi said, “This government has no answer to the queries of the opposition as it had failed on all fronts”.
BJP legislator Ravinder Raina, however, defended the government and said the opposition was indulged in a “propaganda” to defame the ruling coalition.
“If someone comes with a gun, grenade or any other weapon to kill innocent persons…if some terrorists come from other side of the border and attack the civilians, our forces won’t behave like mute spectators,” he told reporters.