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Forces,Jagmohan,Mufti Sayeed drove Pandits out: Farooq’s brother

Mustafa Kamal,brother of Union Minister Farooq Abdullah,on Sunday blamed security forces,former Jammu and Kashmir governor Jagmohan and PDP leader Mufti Sayeed for forcing the migration of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley.

Written by RIYAZ WANI | Srinagar |
January 10, 2011 3:50:41 am

Mustafa Kamal,brother of Union Minister Farooq Abdullah,on Sunday blamed security forces,former Jammu and Kashmir governor Jagmohan and PDP leader Mufti Sayeed for forcing the migration of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley.

The statement comes two days after Abdullah sought the forgiveness of Kashmiri Pandits for their “exodus” and “ethnic cleansing” from the Valley in early 1990,and shows signs of rumblings within the family deepening by the day.

“It was the government which forced Kashmiri Pandits to flee Valley. It was Army,governor Jagmohan and PDP leader Mufti Sayeed who played a role in this,” Kamal,who was health minister in the previous NC government,told The Indian Express.

“Isn’t it true that official vehicles were pressed into service to evacuate Pandits from the Valley and escort them to Jammu and other parts of the state. I will tell you that Jagmohan did it so that he has a free hand in dealing with Muslim majority in Valley”.

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Interestingly,Kamal said that the eruption of militancy in the state in 1989 was also an inside job and not a result of Pakistan’s interference.

“Militancy did not come from across the border. It was born in the Valley,deliberately promoted by the Central government to dislodge NC from power. They couldn’t do it through election,so they did it through militancy,” Kamal said.

He said effort was also made to drag in his brother-in-law (former chief minister G M Shah) into the plan but he refused. “I know from reliable sources how borders were opened at certain places against certain amounts. And among the 135 militant outfits,around 35 were sponsored by the government”.

When pointed out that Abdullah had sought the forgiveness of Pandits on behalf of the Muslims,Kamal said Abdullah’s apology was only for the sufferings of the Pandit community and not for what had happened to them in the Valley. “People in the Valley are not responsible for this,the government and the security machinery is,” Kamal said.

He accused the Army of perpetrating human rights violations in the Valley. “Muslims also suffered. Army burnt and pillaged villages. What about village Ahgam which was burnt or Kunanposhpora where an 80-year-old woman was raped by the Army. Was she a militant?”

At a book launch in New Delhi on Friday,Abdullah had the termed exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in 1989 as one of the “darkest chapters” in the history of the state and sought “forgiveness” of the community. “One of the major tragedies that we had to go through was the ethnic cleansing that took place in the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” the former chief minister said.

It is not the first time that Kamal has spoken out against the NC’s policies. His current outburst is part of a series of statements,where he has openly challenged the course being pursued by his nephew Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and brother Farooq Abdullah. Recently,he almost echoed the separatist line on the three-member group of interlocutors on Kashmir,saying they appeared small before the gigantic magnitude of the Kashmir problem.

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