J&K Governor’s ‘don’t take Mufti seriously’ remark sparks row

first_imgJ&K Governor Satya Pal Malik’s remarks on Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti sparked a row on Wednesday, with all major regional parties accusing him of “crossing the line”.“Elections are round the corner (in J&K), her (Ms. Mufti’s) party is breaking up. It’s in a bad shape. She had come to power by stirring anti-India sentiments. Nobody should take her statements seriously,” said Mr. Malik in Jammu.The off-the-cuff remarks came after Ms. Mufti sought Mr. Malik’s intervention in a case of thrashing of a civilian in Pulwama allegedly by an Army officer. She also labelled both the BJP and the Congress as “political forces driven by Hindutva agenda”, while referring to the Madhya Pradesh government’s move to slap the stringent National Security Act on three persons held on charges of cow slaughter.“Political lines are getting blurred and its difficult to differentiate between the Congress and the BJP as Hindutva drives realpolitik in modern India,”she added.PDP, NC take umbrage Ms. Mufti said the Governor’s remarks “saddened” her because “a constitutional authority has taken sides so brazenly”.PDP spokesman Rafi Mir accused the Governor of “unreasonably interfering in politics”. “He is influencing the elections and the electorate against the PDP. It speaks volumes about his integrity and the leftover sanctity of the office he holds. He must desist from exceeding his jurisdiction,” said Mr. Mir.Former Chief Minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah also joined Ms. Mufti in criticising Mr. Malik. “Governor sahib, it’s an unacceptable statement and an unnecessary interference in politics. At this rate it won’t be long before people stop taking Raj Bhavan seriously, so please consider the office you occupy before you give statements,” said Mr. Abdullah. Ms. Mufti, who visited injured civilian Tawseef Wani in a Srinagar hospital on Tuesday evening, had said: “An Army Major has allegedly beaten him up so ruthlessly that he had to be hospitalised. The irony is that his brother serves in the Army.”She referred to the Army Major, who had killed Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sameer Tiger last year after taking up challenge to engage him in a gunfight in Pulwama, as the officer behind the incident. Later, the PDP chief spoke to the Army’s Corps Commander to register her protest. According to the family, Mr. Wani was picked up by the Army’s 44 Rashtriya Rifles unit from Pulwama’s Achgoza village on February 4. “He was asked by the Major to pose with a gun or else get killed in an encounter,” claimed Mr. Wani’s relatives at the hospital.Mr. Wani’ brother is among three soldiers detained by the Army in the kidnapping and killing case of another soldier, Aurangzeb, which took place on the eve of Id on June 14 last year.last_img read more