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Kashmir protests: What Azadi…if you play with the future of children, asks Mehbooba

“In Islam, it is said education is right of every Muslim man and woman... when we destroy the foundation of education... when our colleges remain closed, we will remain far behind,” Mehbooba Mufti said.

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar |
Updated: August 1, 2016 4:24:43 am
kashmir, kashmir protest, mehbooba mufti, mehbooba mufti kashmir, kashmir violence mehbooba, kashmir curfew, kashmiR schools closed, kashmir civilians death, kashmir news, J&K news, india news People offer funeral prayers for civilians killed in the violence, in Srinagar Sunday. (Source: Express photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

Questioning the meaning of Azadi when “we play with the future of children”, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Sunday said protests in the Valley were being “instigated”. She added that security forces “showed restraint” and fired only when their camps and police stations were attacked.

“If we play with the future of our children, who should be in schools and colleges… then what Azadi (are you talking about), what (is the meaning) of India, and of Pakistan…I believe this will not work. Violence doesn’t help in changing the fate of nations,” the CM told NDTV.

Schools in the Valley are closed for more than a month now.

“In Islam, it is said education is right of every Muslim man and woman… when we destroy the foundation of education… when our colleges remain closed, we will remain far behind,” she said.

Without naming anyone, she said some people were instigating protests in the Valley. “This (instigating the protests) is a business for many people. They take money, and prepare youth of one village and then go to other villages…They enter into the crowd and change the direction of crowd towards police stations, and towards (army and paramilitary) camps. They know when a police station is attacked, a camp is attacked, there would be retaliation. They escape themselves and the common people are killed,” Mehbooba said.

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The CM also said she had directed security forces to show restraint and they followed her orders. “Nobody knew people would come inside police stations. They (security forces) did it (restrained) till last moment…But when they (people) came on their heads, they used pellet guns. Pellet guns when used from close range become dangerous. I believe that most of the casualties happened at police stations and camps,” she said.

Mehbooba also reiterated that the Kashmir issue can be only solved through dialogue.

Reacting to Mehbooba’s comments that many forces joined hands to instigate the protests, former CM Omar Abdullah said on Twitter, “The trouble, I have with her brand of leadership is that it’s never her fault, it’s always others who are to blame.”

Teen dies, toll climbs to 50

A 17-year-old youth from Sopore, who was allegedly beaten up by paramilitary forces, succumbed Sunday. With his death, the toll of people killed in violence following Hijbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani’s killing rose to 50.

Ishfaq Ahmad Dar was referred to SKIMS on July 23 from a hospital in Sopore with head injuries. While his family said he was assaulted by security forces, a police statement said he fell off a tree. The statement also says an FIR was lodged against those spreading “rumours”. The death certificate issued by SKIMS says assault was the cause of injury.

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