June 2016 News

CM Supervising Selective Crackdown, Claims Omar

13 June 2016
The Tribune (Chandigarh)

Srinagar: National Conference working president Omar Abdullah today claimed that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was 'personally and directly supervising a selective crackdown' on separatist leaders. Omar said the crackdown was selective and based on the level of public opposition to her party's 'recurring U-turns' ahead of the Anantnag byelection, which Mehbooba is contesting. 'It is clear that the Chief Minister is spooked by her growing unpopularity ahead of the Anantnag bypoll and intends to re-arrest all Hurriyat leaders as soon as the election concludes,' Omar said addressing party workers in central Kashmir's Beerwah constituency. Omar said Mehbooba used to advocate 'political engagement and dialogue with Hurriyat leaders' and is now supervising a crackdown on them. 'It was PDP that assured the separatists a 'Battle of Ideas' where they would be free to advocate their views in a democratic and free manner. Today, she has gone from that self-righteous moral pedestal to the role of personally directing arrests and using almost three decade old cases to send separatists to jail,' Omar said. 'When we asked Mehbooba Mufti why separatists were being arrested rather than being invited for talks as she and her party had promised, she said that these arrests were being carried out to prevent Hurriyat leaders from disrupting the tourist season. It took her one trip to Anantnag to see how exceedingly unpopular she had become and how there was a growing wave of resentment against her and PDP at the grassroots level,' Omar said. Omar said Mehbooba is frightened by 'adverse reports from Anantnag' which has made her to believe that releasing selected separatist leaders for a week only to be re-arrested later will 'somehow help her in salvaging her precipitously deteriorating position.'