PDP chief writes to PM Modi

Seeks his intervention on punitive action against Kashmiri students
PDP chief writes to PM Modi
File photo of Mehbooba Mufti and Narendra Modi

Srinagar: Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi against the punitive action given to some Kashmiri students for allegedly celebrating Pakistan’s victory over India in a cricket match.

Addressing media persons here, Mufti said that she had sought the PM’s intervention so that the future of these Kashmiri students was not destroyed.

“I have written to him that you have to win the hearts of the people here. The nations and states are not run by using a stick. Harassing youth will ruin their future and alienate them further. This, in turn, will be detrimental to the country as well as J&K,” she said.

Her letter to PM Modi came after medical students living in hostels of the Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar and the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) here were booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and three students from Kashmir studying in Agra were arrested for allegedly celebrating Pakistan's victory over India in the T20 World Cup match played in Dubai on October 24.

“I write to you with a deep sense of disappointment and concern about the alarming situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Not too long ago when you presided over an All-Party Meeting in Delhi you expressed your intention to remove ‘Dil Ki Doori’ between Delhi and J&K. In my capacity as the President of PDP, I suggested a few Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) that would have provided a sense of relief and breathing space to the people of J&K,” Mufti wrote.

“We had been waiting for the roll-out of a policy to address the hearts and minds of people, especially youth,” she said.

The PDP president wrote that there were also expectations that Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s recent visit to J&K would have led to a meaningful reach-out, especially after his statement about engaging with the youth here.

“Instead, what followed was shocking and worrying. A friendly cricket match between India and Pakistan that was solely a source of entertainment for the people here led to booking of youngsters under the draconian UAPA for simply choosing to cheer the winning side,” she said.

Mufti said that the brightest young people pursuing professional courses like MBBS had been targeted and slapped with anti-terror laws.

“Three students in Agra too have been arrested and charged with sedition for the same reasons. This, despite the college’s own admission that they didn't engage in any activity that might be construed as anti-national,” she said.

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