Mufti accuses Centre of creating pressure cooker like situation in J&K

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Jammu, Nov 6 (PTI) PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Friday attacked the Centre over the abrogation of Article 370, saying the suppression of people's voices had created a pressure cooker like situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said that a time will come when the Centre will ask the people 'with folded hands' what more do they want besides restoration of the special status of the erstwhile state.

'They (Centre) have suppressed people's voices and are not allowing them to talk. It is like a pressure cooker... they have created such an atmosphere. But when the pressure cooker explodes it burns down the whole house,' Mufti said at her first public function in Jammu after her release from detention.

The PDP chief arrived here on Thursday to attend the People's Conference for Gupkar Declaration (PCGD) scheduled to be held here on Saturday. It will be chaired by National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah.

She was shown black flags by the activists of the Rashtriya Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena over her statement about not holding the tricolour till Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, including its separate state flag, was restored.

Mufti asserted that the People's Democratic Party (PDP) will not be a mute spectator to the prevailing situation and not sit silent until Article 370 is restored.

'A time will come when the government in New Delhi will ask with folded hands (to the people of Kashmir) 'what more do you want besides restoration of special status'... Mark my words,' she said in her address to PDP workers at the party headquarters here.

Stressing that the BJP is 'not going to rule forever', Mufti said the Centre committed a blunder by scrapping Article 370 and 'misused' the Constitution.

'I and Surinder Choudhary (Jammu PDP leader) have vowed to defend it (Constitution),' she said, vowing to take the fight to restore Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir to its logical conclusion.

Mufti said Article 370 was given to the people of Jammu and Kashmir by Maharaja Hari Singh to save the identity of Dogras.

She also said that those coming from outside to set up industries in Jammu and Kashmir will bring their employees resulting in rise in unemployment as 'our children cannot compete with them due to lack of facilities here'.

'He (Maharaja) was apprehensive that the people from Punjab and other parts will come and threaten the identity of Dogras. This (scraping of article 370) cannot be done by parliament because the Constitution is bigger than parliament,' she said.

She alleged that the country is being run according to the agenda of the BJP and not the Constitution of India.

She further accused the BJP of indulging in vote bank politics while claiming to fight a 'Dharm Yudh' in Jammu and Kashmir.

The BJP is telling the world that the situation in Kashmir is normal but not allowing people to come out and hold protests, she said.

Mufti said PDP activists were held by police for protesting and were asked to give affidavits for their release.

'They are suppressing every voice. Protesters are being lodged in jails and are being tagged as anti-nationals... What kind of democracy is this? Is this Ram Rajya? Why are you afraid of the PDP?' she asked.

Taking a dig at the Narendra Modi government over the Chinese incursion, the PDP chief said, 'China took 1000 square kilometres of our land. They are raising infrastructure and buildings but none of the ministers have spoken about it.' 'They are reluctant to mention the name of China. China is setting up permanent barracks and buildings, but they turn a blind eye. Eight rounds of talks have happened... You can talk to China but feel insulted to talk to the people of J&K whose identity has been snatched,' she added.

During the regime of late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, talks were resumed with Pakistan and separatists but the current dispensation in New Delhi has 'spoiled' the structure of Indian democracy, she said.

She also questioned why Modi had not talked about the 20 soldiers killed in Galwan, Leh while fighting Chinese troops, in his Bihar election rallies. PTI AB RHL