THE CITIZEN BUREAU | 26 JULY, 2017
THE CITIZEN BUREAU
SRINAGAR: Training guns at the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, the Opposition National Conference patron, Dr Farooq Abdullah, today accused the J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti of being "hand in glove" with the Hurriyat.
In an interview with a New Delhi-based TV news network, Dr Farooq, who is also a member of Lok Sabha from Srinagar constituency, claimed that the Peoples Democratic Party won the 2014 assembly elections "because of Hurriyat".
"She (Mehbooba) is hand-in-glove with Hurriyat. One of her ministers writes the statements that (veteran Hurriyat leader Syed Ali) Geelani gives. Their stronghold lies in southern parts of Kashmir. There lies the answer. Ask the government to probe this,” Abdullah told the news channel.
The PDP, which started its political journey from south Kashmir in 1999, has gradually extended its political influence to rest of the Valley, including the capital Srinagar, where it almost routed the National Conference in 2014 assembly elections.
In the recent Lok Sabha elections, the PDP won all the three seats from Kashmir Valley. Dr Abdullah, however, managed to wrest back Srinagar constituency, held by PDP's Tariq Hamid Karra, after the seat fell vacant due to Karra's resignation from the party.
Dr Abdullah, who is known for raking up controversies in past, said it was no surprise that the Jammu and Kashmir Police, according to reports, stalled the movement of arrested separatist leaders from Srinagar to Delhi on Monday evening.
“You should hold the government of Jammu and Kashmir and the chief minister responsible for this. The BJP should break up with them,” said Abdullah.
Seven separatist leaders including Altaf Ahmad Funtoosh, the son-in-law of Geelani and Shahid-ul-Islam, the political advisor of moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, were arrested by the NIA on Monday for allegedly receiving Hawala funds to stoke unrest in Kashmir.
Dr Farooq's statement comes barely two days after Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, a PDP MLA from Tral, the hometown of Burhan Wani, was quoted by a local newspaper that he was in "regular touch' with the slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander whose killing sparked a civilian uprising in Kashmir last year.
"I once had lunch with him (Burhan). People used to love Burhan because of his great and pious character. He was a kind and pious person, and being a resident of Tral too, I know how much people loved and respected him," Shah told the daily.