Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said the “failure” of the previous Omar Abdullah government to deal with the issue of stone-pelting had led to the unrest last year and the situation in the Valley at present.
Her remarks came as a response to National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, who had yesterday said the Mufti government was “financing stone-pelting” amid a recent spike in violence over surrounding by-elections in the state.
“There was no measures taken with regard to the youths, who took to the streets to hurl stones (in 2010). What steps were taken at that time to check stone-pelting? No treatment was done,” she said.
“It is because of the failure to take steps to treat the ailment. It churned lava, which exploded suddenly last year and till now, we have not been able to stop this,” Ms Mufti said.
On Mr Abdullah’s charge, she said: “The NC had in 2010 said the PDP, which was in the opposition at that time, was giving money to stone-pelters. Now, Farooq Abdullah is saying the PDP government is paying boys and youths for throwing stones.”
“Some time ago, Farooq sahab himself said they all (stone-pelters) are nationalists and now he is saying all those nationalists are being paid by the PDP government to resort to stone-pelting. I think Farooq sahab is confused,” she said. She said her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed worked to find a solution to the 70-year-old Kashmir issue but no headway was made in this direction after his tenure ended.
Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh also alleged that the NC and its leadership were the biggest contributors to the prevailing situation in Kashmir and that “they do not hesitate in instigating people against the nation”.
The BJP leader said it is condemnable and highly unfortunate that “a leader like Farooq Abdullah, who has been a chief minister and Union minister, is speaking like this. He is glorifying stone-pelters and anti-nationals”. Mr Abdullah had yesterday said that all stone-throwers are not same and questioned whether the nation is concerned about them and their future.