People's Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday accused that the BJP government had "weaponised the central agencies" for targeting her family members and party workers. Addressing a press conference at her Gupkar residence, Mufti said rather than a "witch-hunt", government should "fight me politically."
"I want to tell all the BJP leaders that you have so much power and so many Members of Parliament. You have the government on your side. If you want to fight me, fight me politically but not through NIA, ED or CBI which the government is treating like its mistresses instead of being serious agencies which are supposed to probe serious issues," Mufti said.
The former Chief Minister accused the government of connecting her "to terror funding" through the arrest of her party youth president Waheed Parra, who is presently in the custody of the National Investigation Agency. She accused the government of "trying to create a situation where Waheed is made to falsely confess something which brings me in the radar."
"What will you get out of these raids as I have nothing to hold back. Be grounded and fight me politically and not through these agencies. Because there is nothing, you (government) went to my father's graveyard and started auditing how much was spent on it," Mufti said.
Mufti said there was a "nefarious thinking" behind allegations levelled that her party "had connections with militants" and that it had been "helping militants' families". Mufti said it was only after PDP founder Mufti Muhammad Sayeed became the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister that "families of slain persons were being duly helped through proper bank accounts."
"The witch-hunt of the central government has reached a new level. For the last two years they have been trying to dig into my assets, etc. But now that they couldn't find anything, they have started conducting raids at the houses of our friends, family members and party workers. They are misusing these central agencies," Mehbooba said.
Mufti said asking for restoration of Article 370 was "well within the constitutional framework" while detention of political leaders was "illegal." "For last two years they are writing obituaries of my party. If they can't fight politically, that is not my problem. The misuse of ED, CBI, NIA by the government is wrong and they have blown up the Constitution into pieces," said Mufti.
"You never know whether this could be our last press conference. They might just come over and detain me. They have detained our leaders and do not answer when questions are raised over illegal detention. Both the police and administration have only to cite preventive detention as the reason. When asked for a formal detention order, they are clueless," Mufti said.
Mufti highlighted the recent detention of party leaders including Sartaj Madni, Peer Mansoor, Naeem Akhtar and the Enforcement Directorate raids at the Srinagar and Delhi residences of party leader Anjum Fazili on Wednesday.
"These leaders are just being picked up without any preventive detention and a particular media person keeps saying they have been questioned under Prevention of Money Laundering Act which I don't know is correct to what extent," Mufti said.
Mufti said she has been approached several times and "asked to stop caring about issues of Jammu and Kashmir." "I have raised a voice against the daylight dacoity of August 5 and will continue raising it for restoration of Article 370," Mufti said.