CM Mehbooba Mufti announces money and jobs for uprising victims

Rs 5 lakh for those killed and ‘good schooling’ for the pellet blinded victims; Blames Pak, resistance leadership for ‘sponsored and staged ‘uprising’

Jammu: A government job for those blinded by pellets and Rs 5 lakh compensation to families of those killed in firing or shelling by government forces during the 2016 uprising, were among the announcements made by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in the state assembly on Monday.

An inquiry will be conducted into the killing of a lecturer in Khrew and into the killing of an ATM guard in Srinagar, Mehbooba announced, and “special investigation teams will be constituted in every district to investigate the killings and blindings. Anybody found guilty will have action taken against them,” she assured.

Speaking during a debate on the killings and blindings at the hands of government forces since Burhan Wani was killed on July 8, Mehbooba told the legislative assembly that her government will rehabilitate those injured by government forces and all those who were blinded or disabled during the agitation will be provided facilities to enable them to have a good education.

Mehbooba said those who lost their eyesights would be given free education in top schools such as Doon International.

Mehbooba said she had regrets and felt sorrow for the killings and the blindings, as ‘’People were not expecting this from me.”

“I am shocked this upheaval happened in my government,’’ she said and reiterated that the agitation of 2016 was instigated and sponsored by Pakistan and the resistance leadership “in a planned, coordinated manner.”

“The 2016 uprising was pre-planned. The killing of Burhan was the trigger, and only the trigger, as the platform for this was prepared before. Conditions were created by raising the issues of separate townships to rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandits and for setting up of Sainik colonies,” Mehbooba said.

‘’As CM it was my responsibility to stop casualties and save life and property. We had the means of curfew and we imposed it. But on the one side we were trying to stop killings and casualties, on the other side chalo calls were being given, people were being provoked to violence. I again repeat that conditions were created, preparations were made earlier. The agitation was sponsored and staged,” Mehbooba said.

The youth leading the uprising, Mehbooba said, had much to answer for. She said that children were stopped and not allowed to attend their schools; banks were looted and weapons were snatched from security personnel of political leaders.  She said it was not security personnel but agitating youth who were harassing patients.

“It is a shame for them that they stopped a pregnant lady and asked her to show whether she was really pregnant or staging a drama. It is shame for them who stopped an aged dialysis patient from having his dialysis done,” she said.

“Curfew was imposed with the aim to stop people from coming out of their homes. But people came out in thousands from areas where we had no anticipation,” she said and added that 50 police stations and army installations were damaged. “When people stormed security camps, the troops had to fire in retaliation. It is not easy to exercise maximum restraint when people with petrol bombs attack a police station,” she said.

Mehbooba said the situation in 2016 was far more turbulent than in 2010. She said that Omar Abdullah had the support of his father but she was handling the situation all by herself. She asked Omar why was he silent when a deaf-and-dumb civilian was killed by security forces near Gupkar Road during his stint.

She told the legislative assembly that in the 2016 uprising, the eyesight of six children had been fully damaged; 20 children had lost eyesight in one eye; and 100 people had both eyes partially damaged.

Appreciating the role of the health department, the food and supplies department, and the education department, she said they helped people survive through the difficult conditions.

Criticising the Hurriyat leaders without naming them, she said that they did not open their doors when a delegation from Delhi came to visit them.  “The whole country was looking at them but they did not open their doors. Had they done so, a dialogue would have started,” she said.

On the detention of persons under the Public Safety Act, Mehbooba informed that 370 persons had been detained under PSA of whom 138 were in jail. She said those who do not have a “criminal background” will be soon released. “Earlier we started the FIR withdrawal process but it was disrupted due to the uprising,” she said.

Reasserting that she had no information of Burhan Wani’s killing, she said, “I received the information regarding the killing of Burhan in late hours. When a police official informed me that three militants were killed in an encounter in south Kashmir and Burhan Wani was one among them, I knew that people in thousands will participate in his funeral. I directed police to exercise maximum restrain to avoid casualties,” she said.

She also condemned the attack on GREF personnel at Akhnoor in which three personnel were killed.