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Those killed weren't out buying milk: J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti

Publication: DNA India
Date: August 26, 2016
URL:      https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-those-killed-weren-t-out-buying-milk-jk-cm-mehbooba-mufti-2248906

J&K chief minister says 95% want resolution to Kashmir problem peacefully, 5% hijacked the issue by indulging in violence.

Under fire for mishandling the current situation, J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday said only five percent people of Kashmir are agitating and using children as shield to derail the peace and dialogue process.

To drive home her point, Mehbooba made a milk and toffee analogy to underscore the exploitation of young children who attack the security camps and police stations, evoking retaliation. "Was it to buy toffee that the child went to army camp? Was 15-year-old out to buy milk when he attacked the police station in Damhal Hanji Pora?" she asked. It was Mehbooba's first formal media interaction since the unrest began on July 8. However, it proved to be a PR disaster after she left the presser in a huff leaving union home minister Rajnath Singh, who was sitting by her side, blushing.

Mehbooba lost her cool after asked about her role as opposition leader in 2010 agitation. "There was a reason then... fake encounter in Machil where in three died, and allegations of rape and murder in Shopian...This time there was an encounter in which three militants were killed. Was it the fault of government?," she asked.

Mehbooba hinted at launching a crackdown against those instigating and resorting to violence. "A large section of our population wants peace and reconciliation on lines of Vajpayee doctrine of insanayat. Our focus should be on those people. And those five percent who create trouble will be dealt with according to law... they will not be allowed to make the lives of others hell," she said.

Hours later, moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is among the three leaders supervising the agitation, was arrested from his home at Nagin. Earlier, he used to be detained after he defied house detention but this time he was formally taken into custody from his home. Hurriyat spokesman said Mirwaiz was scheduled to address the people at Jamia Masjid after evening prayers over phone.

The chief minister said the Centre, state government and political parties should focus on 95 per cent population particularly living in Valley, who do not want to throw stones and want peaceful resolution.

"They do not want to resort to violence. They do not want to attack the security establishments to further their nefarious designs. So let us differentiate between those people who want the resolution of problem through dialogue and reconciliation and those people who exploit small and poor boys attack the camps and pelt stones on roads. We should make a difference," she said.

Presenting herself as saviour, Mehbooba listed her efforts to save youth from the clutches of the security forces' tyranny during her hey days in politics.

"I have saved these children from the clutches of task force (anti-insurgency wing of J&K police). When they used to see a force Gypsy they were fleeing. I have saved them when they were being used as bonded labour. I have saved them when they were being tortured. Today they have been put in the furnace of violence for their nefarious designs, I am with Kashmir issue and it should be resolved. But stone pelting and attacking camps will not resolve any issue," angry Mehbooba said before leaving news conference midway.
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