Srinagar, Apr 15: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday held a high-level meeting where she reportedly said there was no threat to the ruling PDP-BJP alliance in the wake of Kathua gangrape and murder case, which triggered a nationwide outrage. Mufti said the resignation of two BJP ministers, who participated in a rally supporting Kathua case accused, would strengthen the PDP-BJP alliance. She, however, warned of ‘chaos’ in Jammu and Kashmir if the country’s political leadership doesn’t pay heed to the concerns of state’s youth.
Speaking at a meeting with PDP leaders, ministers and legislators, Mehbooba Mufti said, “The youth here have given enough indication of their anger and discontent over the past several years, even while they gave a chance for democracy to play itself out. But unfortunately, signals were ignored, with the country’s political leadership having either run out of ideas or having reached a dead end. The democratic polity of India must respond to this challenge before the political and humanitarian crisis in Kashmir degenerates into bigger chaos.”
“Intolerance and hate are hitting at the country’s core values and posing a great threat to pluralism, the only option for achieving the goals India has set. India comprises a composite culture and no one has domination in it. We have to keep this civilisation alive,” the Chief Minister, as reported by Indian Express, said. Mehbooba Mufti’s brother and Minister Tassaduq Mufti also addressed PDP leaders and asked party members to look within and reach out to the people.
“Our party has a political agenda, which we can’t ignore. We shouldn’t just look towards the Centre and Pakistan. We also need to reach out. We need to start grass-root activity, convince people of our agenda and policies,” Tassaduq was quoted as saying. He had set off a storm with his remarks that allies PDP and BJP had “ended up becoming partners in crime”. After the meeting, the PDP thanked the nation for steadfastly standing by the side of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in fighting for justice for the Kathua rape and murder victim.
On Saturday, BJP’s national general secretary Ram Madhav also said that there was no threat to the ruling PDP-BJP coalition in Jammu and Kashmir as both the parties were working in coordination. Meanwhile, Mehbooba Mufti, who also holds the Home portfolio, terminated the services of a sub-inspector, a head constable and two Special Police Officers (SPOs) accused in the Kathua case. She was said to have written to the Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, seeking a fast track court to conclude within 90 days the trial.
According to police charges, the minor from the nomad Bakerwal community was kidnapped on January 10. She was taken to a temple in Rasana village in Kathua district. Her attackers, which included temple official and policemen, drugged and gang-raped her over days before finally killing her and dumping her body in a forest nearby, seven days later. The girl was attacked to scare away the nomadic Muslim community out of the village.