Threat posed by fringe elements worrisome: Mufti Sayeed

Srinagar: Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed today said certain fringe elements pose a “threat” to the country’s rich diversity and multi-culturalism but expressed happiness that the people did not fall prey to the recent “nefarious” and “provocative” acts like Dadri lynching.

“The threat posed by certain fringe elements to the country’s diversity is worrisome…The agenda of development cannot take a back seat to the politics of hate propagated by a fringe minority which relishes media attention. We need to shrink their space by simply ignoring them,” he said during an informal conversation with members of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation here.

“The Dadri incident in which Akhlaq was lynched by a mob was very unfortunate. Back home, Zahid Rasool Bhat became a casualty of hate politics.

“But I am happy that despite extreme provocation, people demonstrated great maturity and did not fall prey to the evil and nefarious designs of the enemies of the state who want to destroy the centuries-old harmony,” Sayeed said while referring to the beef controversy about two months back.

Talking about the communal harmony in his state, the Chief Minister said the peaceful conduct of the Amarnath Yatra year after year is ample testimony to the secular credentials of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

He said the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly set a great precedent by unanimously adopting a resolution in both the Houses of the State Legislature that condemned violence in any form and sent out a clear message of peace and tolerance to the rest of the country.

On forming alliance with BJP, Sayeed said he had the option of forming government with the support of Congress and National Conference but that would have negated the verdict of one important region.

“Despite ideological differences, I chose to side with BJP to lend credence to the decision of the people who had voted overwhelmingly for BJP in Jammu, just as we had emerged as the single largest party in Kashmir. I met the Prime Minister couple of times and saw how focussed he is on development of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

Describing free and independent media as an essential pillar of democracy, the Chief Minister urged the Fourth Estate to play a proactive role in helping Jammu and Kashmir tide over the challenge posed by negative perception about the state which impedes its huge potential in tourism sector.