In her first public rally with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after becoming Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti Tuesday raised the Handwara killings and said that the people of Kashmir were in pain and needed a healing touch. She sought the PM’s cooperation to ensure that “no more innocent lives are lost to mindless violence”.
“We witnessed many tragic incidents, like in Baljarala in Rajouri, Chittisinghpora in Anantnag and more recently in Handwara, where innocent people have been fatally caught in the vortex of violence. We need to take immediate steps to bring an end to this permanently,” she said.
Referring to unrest in Muslim countries like Pakistan, Syria and Libya despite their “homogeneous societies”, Mehbooba said: “I am proud to live in a nation where people from different religions live in peace but…there is a pain in heart of Kashmir, and we all have to heal it together. We need to heal it so that the youth of Kashmir flourish like those in rest of the country.”
Claiming that she had great expectations from her party’s alliance with the BJP, Mehbooba recalled her father saying that by shaking hands with Narendra Modi, he was, in fact, joining hands with over a billion people of India, who had reposed faith in his leadership. However, Mehbooba reiterated the pain suffered by people of the state over the past 25 years, claiming that it continues to disturb her.
Earlier in the day, the CM attended the fifth convocation of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University in Katra, along with the PM and Governor N N Vohra. Addressing the convocation, the CM described J&K as “mini India” and appealed to resident students to take good care of their outstation colleagues so that they become “goodwill ambassadors’’ of the state.
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