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regular-article-logo Friday, 31 May 2024

Amit Shah draws 'fake encounter' charge against Kashmir parties, lauds PM Modi for ending terrorism

'I want to tell the youth of Kashmir that in the name of security, all three parties exploited the Valley youth. I want to ask Farooq Abdullah sahab (NC president) and the PDP, in whose tenure did the highest number of fake encounters take place? Who opened fire on Kashmir’s children?', Shah said

Muzaffar Raina Srinagar Published 17.04.24, 08:30 AM
Amit Shah.

Amit Shah. File picture

Union home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday accused the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party-led Jammu and Kashmir governments of promoting militants and orchestrating the maximum number of fake encounters.

Shah also hinted that the BJP might not field candidates for three Valley seats and asked people to vote for anyone other than the Congress, NC and the PDP, suggesting a failure of its Valley outreach initiative.

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“I want to tell the youth of Kashmir that in the name of security, all three parties exploited the Valley youth. I want to ask Farooq Abdullah sahab (NC president) and the PDP, in whose tenure did the highest number of fake encounters take place? Who opened fire on Kashmir’s children? Who put guns in the hands of the Valley kids? It is these three parties,” Shah told a gathering at an election rally in Jammu.

A former officer, requesting anonymity, said the claim amounted to raising questions on the conduct of the security forces.

“Politicians do not wield a gun, security forces do. If politicians were behind such things, then security forces also got involved. Besides, a fake gunfight essentially means killing somebody in custody, which is a larger import,” he said.

Another former officer said Jammu and Kashmir’s chief ministers headed the Unified Command, which helmed the security apparatus that had top army officers as advisers.

Shah credited Narendra Modi for ending “fake encounters” and “terrorism”.

“Narendra Modiji has restored peace in Jammu and Kashmir and put it on the path of development. Jammu and Kashmir was lagging behind for 70 years. There were agitations, terrorism continued and development stopped. Narendra Modiji stopped hartals and stone pelting and ended terrorism,” he said.

Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed several alleged custodial deaths and fake encounters after the 2019 scrapping of special status.

Last year, the army faced allegations of torturing three tribal Gujjar men to death in custody. The videos of the event had gone viral on social media. In March, lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha handed over job appointment letters to the next of kin of three civilians.

Shah hinted that the BJP was unlikely to field candidates in Kashmir.

“I have come to tell the voters of Kashmir that when we get love (of Kashmiris), the lotus will bloom in Kashmir as well,” he said.

“I have come to appeal to the Valley voters to vote for anyone but three dynastic parties of Farooq sahab, Mehboobaji and Sonia Gandhi. All three work for their sons and daughters, not for you.”

Valley parties claimed the BJP in Kashmir was supporting some leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sajjad Lone and Altaf Bukhari, who have a secret understanding with it. However, all three leaders have rebuffed the claims.

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