Mehbooba likens JNU charge sheet with Afzal Guru hanging, calls it vote bank politics

Anantnag: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday likened the charge sheet filed against JNU student leaders in the sedition row with the hanging of terrorist Afzal Guru and termed it vote bank politics.

“As I have already said that such kind of steps before elections raise doubts. People may remember that even before 2014 elections, Congress hanged Afzal Guru by picking him up from the 28th position. They thought that this way they will win 2014 elections. Today BJP is doing the same thing. Kanhaiya, Umar Khalid and seven-eight other students from Kashmir have been named in the charge sheet. This is absolutely wrong. It feels like Jammu and Kashmir people are once again being used as a pawn ahead of 2019 elections. This is nothing but politics of votes,” said Mehbooba told the media here on Tuesday.

Speaking further about her party’s association with BJP, she said: “We shook hands with BJP as they had the mandate, to have talks on Jammu and Kashmir issue just like Vajpayee Ji held talks with Hurriyat and Pakistan. But Modi Ji couldn’t walk on the path of Vajpayee Ji even though he had the mandate. People can be angry with us for forging an alliance with BJP but they don’t hate. It was a tough decision for us to go with BJP. This was taken in the welfare of people.”

Emphasising that local militants are the “son of the soil”, she asserted that “attempts should be to save him (local militants). She further said, “I believe, in Jammu and Kashmir, not only Hurriyat but those with the guns should also be engaged with, but not at this time.”

The Delhi Police on Monday slapped the charges of sedition, rioting, and criminal conspiracy among others on former JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and nine others in a three-year-old incident which rocked the campus of India’s premier seat of learning on the evening of February 9, 2016.

Delhi Police charge sheet, running into 1,200-page and filed at the city-state’s Patiala House Court on Monday, contains serious charges against them under various sections of the Indian Penal Code’s (IPC) including Section 124A (sedition), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 465 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine, forged document), 143 (punishment for unlawful assembly), 149 (unlawful assembly with common object), 147(rioting), and 120B (criminal conspiracy).