As the J&K Police blame ‘militants’ for the two separate attacks on political leaders in the state, the two targeted parties, the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party, blame each other.
The attacks had come in the run-up to three parliamentary seats, Anantnag, Srinagar and Baramulla, going to polls on April 24, 30 and May 7, respectively.
The PDP has also accused the ruling NC of aiding the separatists in their calls for an election boycott. PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said while she had no issues with the boycott calls, she blamed the NC for implementing these calls.
Meanwhile, NC legislator and additional secretary Mustafa Kamal blamed the PDP for “all the ills and attacks on NC activists” since its inception.
The war of words began soon after two policemen were killed at the house of NC youth organiser Yawar Masoodi on April 13 in Khrew village. Masoodi had escaped unhurt and the militants were killed in an encounter with the Army soon after.
The NC leadership had blamed the PDP for the attack, with chief Farooq Abdullah saying, “Definitely, those people who are going to lose will use any weapon to demoralise us”, while the police said the militants had not attacked the house to target the NC leader but to snatch the weapons of the policemen they had killed.
On Monday, after two militants were killed in Ahmadnagar, NC legislator Peer Afaq said the PDP was seeking the help of militants to create panic in Srinagar, which is considered a PDP bastion. The NC leader even blamed the PDP for hurling petrol bombs on NC workers in Srinagar.
Union Minister Abdullah had on Thursday raked up controversy by saying if he had the resources, he would carry out hundreds of attacks on PDP leaders. Hours later, militants gunned down a PDP sarpanch in Awantipore and PDP chief Mehbooba wasted no time in blaming the NC for the attack.
Out of the 114 candidates, 74 of them have declared serious criminal cases against them.