Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah today said the ruling Peoples Democratic Party has not learnt any lessons from the “devastating effect” of pellet guns during last year’s unrest in the Valley.
Addressing party functionaries and workers in Beerwah, Omar said the PDP’s “continued subservience” to the BJP was alarming and could have long-lasting adverse implications on the state and its stability.
“The multi-fold increase in number of pellet guns from nearly 600 to around 6,000 shows that the present government had chosen to not learn any lessons from the recent unrest and the devastating effect of pellet guns when hundreds of young kids lost partial or complete eyesight,” he said.
The NC working president recalled how Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti opposed use of pellet guns while she was in the opposition.
“Unfortunately, despite the enormous and staggering human costs of using these guns that we witnessed in 2016, Mehbooba remains unmoved…Imagine the height of hypocrisy and shamelessness that this Government has the audacity to not only continue with the use of pellet guns but also increase their number ten-fold.
Making customary offers of donating her eyes to pellet victims cannot absolve her of this new U-turn,” he said. Omar also expressed disappointment at PDP’s “deliberate and deafening” silence on comments made by senior BJP leader and its Member of Parliament, Sakshi Maharaj, who had recently remarked that there was no place for Muslims to be buried in India and they should be cremated.
“Such is the extent and depth of PDP’s sell-out to the BJP that they can’t even muster the courage to oppose Sakshi Maharaj’s statement denigrating Muslims and questioning their right to be buried in accordance to their religious rights and rituals.
“PDP is a partner of the BJP and its silence in the face of such brazen statements means that PDP is a part and parcel of such communal programs that are aimed at harassing and intimidating minorities in order to derive political dividends in elections around the country,” he said.
Condemning the remarks made by the BJP MP, the former chief minister said these were deliberate attempts to intimidate and harass Muslims and use polarisation as a political tool to benefit BJP in ongoing elections.
“While BJP has its own plans and goals to polarise people and use that as a tactic in the ongoing elections, why is PDP silent? Is it too much to ask to expect the Chief Minister of India s only Muslims majority State to stand up and speak up for the democratic and constitutional rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir?” he asked.