May 2017 News

'Azadi' Cries Force J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti To Retreat

16 May 2017
Times of India
M Saleem Pandit

Srinagar: J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had to stage a retreat after scores of Kashmiri women raised 'azadi' slogans and threw chairs and empty plastics bottles towards the podium at an event where she had gone to address women selfhelp groups. Around 15,000 women of various self-help groups had come to Sher-e-Kashmir international convection complex (SKICC) to participate in an event organised by Jammu & Kashmir government on Tuesday. No sooner than Mehbooba arrived at the podium and started narrating success stories of self-help groups, dozens of women stood up and started raising 'profreedom' slogans. Other women the joined in. Although the CM stayed for some time, she was taken away when the situation worsened, with angry women throwing chairs and empty plastic bottles towards the podium, sources said. Mehbooba expressed displeasure with the poor arrangements at the venue. An official spokesperson said the CM expressed her disappointment with the organisers for lack of basic facilities at the venue like drinking water, sanitation or medical help for the women who had come for the meeting. Many women fainted due to cramped conditions, and the spokesman said the CM has taken serious note of this. Participants alleged they were brought to the venue deceitfully. 'We had been called for UMEED function and not told Mehbooba will be here,' said Jabeena Nabi, who was among hundreds of women who left the venue raising slogans.