Home Minister Amit Shah accuses NC, PDP, Congress of staging fake encounters in Kashmir

Mr. Shah also said that the dream of Jan Sangh leader Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee ”has been fulfilled”

Updated - April 16, 2024 07:17 pm IST

Published - April 16, 2024 04:58 pm IST - JAMMU

Union Home Minister Amit Shah waves at supporters during a public meeting ahead of Lok Sabha election, in Jammu.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah waves at supporters during a public meeting ahead of Lok Sabha election, in Jammu. | Photo Credit: PTI

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is campaigning in Jammu, on Tuesday targeted the National Conference (NC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Congress, and highlighted the issue of fake encounters during their regimes.

Accusing the three parties of “promoting terrorism” in J&K, Mr. Shah said, “I want to ask the NC, the PDP, and Dr. Farooq Abdullah, in whose tenure most of the fake encounters took place? Wasn’t it Dr. Abdullah’s government then?”

Civilian deaths in alleged fake encounters remain an emotive issue in Kashmir. The fake encounters that still lurk in people’s minds include the killing of seven civilians in the forests of Anantnag’s Pathribal in 2000 and the killing of three civilians in Kupwara’s Machil in 2010. The recent “fake encounter” took place in 2010, after the Centre ended J&K’s special status in 2019, in Shopian’s Amshipora, in which three local labourers were passed off as militants.

Mr. Shah urged voters in J&K “not to vote for parties like NC, Congress and PDP”. He accused these parties of “handing over guns to young boys in J&K”.

Referring to Jan Sangh leader Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee’s slogan of ‘Ek Vidhan, Ek Pradhan, Ek Nishan’ or ‘One Law, One Leader, One Symbol’, Mr. Shah said, “His dream has been fulfilled.”

“The Kashmir for which Mr. Mukherjee laid down his life is ours,” Mr. Shah said.

The Union Home Minister highlighted the change in ground situation in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019.

“Terrorism is on its deathbed. Stone pelting, shutdown calls, and street protests are a history. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji has handed over laptops in the hands of youth, who carried stones once. This is the change we have brought in Kashmir,” Mr. Shah said.

He said after being free from the chains of Article 370, the new J&K is ready to touch new heights in the next term of the Modi government.

With the BJP refraining from fielding candidates on the three seats of the Kashmir valley, Mr. Shah said, “The BJP was not in a hurry to see the ‘lotus’ bloom in Valley. We are not going to conquer Kashmir as projected by our adversaries. We want to win every heart of Kashmir.”

Mr. Shah also targeted former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for her pre-2019 remarks that “no one will hold the Tricolour in Kashmir if Article 370 was tampered with”.

“Article 370 is buried forever and the Tricolour is flying high with dignity and honour,” Mr. Shah said.

Mr. Shah reiterated that the Assembly election in J&K will be held on the dates announced by the Supreme Court. “There will be no delay [in Assembly election],” he said. The SC has set September 2024 as the deadline for the Assembly election in J&K.

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