National Conference (NC) today sought a “judicial probe” into the death of eight civilians in violence during polling in Srinagar Lok Sabha byelection and demanded that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti step down for failing to provide a secure environment.
“The incidents in Kashmir, particularly during the elections should be investigated. There should be a judicial probe and those responsible should be taken to task,” NC general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar told a press conference.
Sagar, who was adressing the media along with the party leaders Nasir Aslam Wani, Abdul Rahim Rather and also claimed that the killings on poll day were “target killings” and the chief minister’s role too should be probed. The killings in Chadoora were targeted killings, their own MLA has said it, he claimed.
Targeting the PDP government in the state, Sagar said they no right to govern and should resign and Governor’s rule should be imposed in the state. The NC leader claimed the PDP had conceded defeat by demanding postponement of by-polls in Anantnag and said the chief minister should step-down as she had “miserably” failed on all fronts.
The situation in the whole of the state, especially the Valley, is worsening by the day and the government is responsible for that, he claimed adding that there is no moral ground for Mehbooba to continue in the office. Referring to comments made by Tassaduq Mufti, Mehbooba’s brother, Sagar said that even had said that the security environment is not right for the polls.
The NC leader claimed that his party had conveyed to the Election Commission (EC) that the atmosphere is not conducive for the elections but it did not listen. “However, when the ruling party candidate said so, the EC immediately postponed the polls,” Sagar said. The party has conveyed it to the Chief Election Officer of the state that there are question marks over the credibility of the EC, he said.
Asked whether the large-scale boycott of the polls reflected that the political space of mainstream parties had shrunk in the Valley, Nasir said Yes, the mainstream political space has shrunk Mehbooba’s theory of only five per cent of people protesting was proven wrong. It is actually 95 per cent of the people who are angry with her, he claimed. Party spokesman Mattu alleged that the situation was allowed to go out of control in those areas where heavy polling was going against the PDP and in favour of the NC.
So, an enquiry should be conducted to see who was the chief minister in touch with, he said. Eight people were killed in firing by security forces as unprecedented election-day violence marred the by-poll for Srinagar Lok Sabha seat today which saw the voter turnout plunge to an all-time low of 7.14 per cent.
Rampaging mobs took to streets in scores of places across the Lok Sabha constituency straddling Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts, perpetrating wanton violence and arson, even setting ablaze a polling station and attempting to set on fire two others, amid a boycott called by the separatists.