Hitting out at previous regime of Omar Abdullah, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said the “failure” of the previous government to deal with the issue of stone-pelting had led to the unrest last year and the situation in the Valley at present.
Her remarks came as a response to National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, who had yesterday said the Mufti government was “financing stone-pelting”.
“There was no measures taken with regard to the youths, who took to the streets to hurl stones (in 2010). What steps were taken at that time to check stone-pelting ? No treatment was done.
“It is because of the failure to take steps to treat the ailment. It churned lava (in youths), which exploded suddenly last year and till now, we have not been able to stop this,” Mehbooba said.
On Abdullah’s charge, she said: “The NC had in 2010 said the PDP, which was in the opposition at that time, was giving money to stone-pelters. Now, Farooq Abdullah is saying the PDP government is paying boys and youths for throwing stones.
“Some time ago, Farooq sahab himself said they all (stone-pelters) are nationalists and now he is saying all those nationalists are being paid by the PDP government to resort to stone-pelting. I think Farooq sahab is confused.”
She said her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed worked to find a solution to the 70-year-old Kashmir issue but no headway was made in this direction after his tenure ended.
The Chief Minister said her government was committed to healing “the wounds of Kashmir and restoring normalcy in the Valley. We will work to bring the state out of the unfortunate situation”.
She acknowledged she was facing “big challenges” and said she was born to face such a situation.
Mufti thanked the people of Jammu, saying they are “maintaining a high degree of peace and normalcy in the region. I am grateful to them. With the support of the people, I am facing these challenges.”
The CM said the Centre was very serious about the Kashmir issue “because everyone loves Jammu and Kashmir, which is the crown of India. And to handle this crown and keep its position intact is the responsibility of everyone of us”.
Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh alleged that the NC and its leadership were the biggest contributors to the prevailing situation in Kashmir and that “they do not hesitate in instigating people against the nation”.
“When Abdullah was on the campaign trial in the run-up to the bye-election, he instigated stone-pelters. He and his party are the biggest contributors to the situation in which Kashmir find itself,” he told reporters here.
“They (Abdullah and the NC leadership) do not hesitate in instigating people against the nation. They say one thing in Kashmir, another in Jammu and some other thing in Delhi. They say stone-pleters are working for the movement and cause.
“They are the people, who on one hand talk about democracy and on the other hand support Hurriyat and create hurdles in the path of democracy. What they do is condemnable,” he said.
The BJP leader said it is condemnable and highly unfortunate that “a leader like Farooq Abdullah, who has been a chief minister and Union minister, is speaking like this. He is glorifying stone-pelters and anti-nationals”.
Virtually defending stone-pelters in Kashmir, Abdullah had yesterday claimed that all stone-pelters are not same and questioned whether the nation is concerned about them and their future.