Twin militant attacks in Kashmir reflects govt’s failure: Mehbooba Mufti

JAMMU — PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said the twin militant attacks in Kashmir reflects the failure of the government, claiming that it could be “deliberate” to frighten people ahead of the polling for the Lok Sabha polls.

Militants struck at two places in south Kashmir on Saturday night, killing Aijaz Sheikh, a former sarpanch affiliated with BJP, in Shopian and injuring a tourist couple from Rajasthan in Anantnag.

While north Kashmir’s Baramulla constituency will vote on May 20 in the fifth phase of the ongoing general elections, south Kashmir’s Anantnag-Rajouri seat will go to polls in the sixth phase on May 25.

Mufti is among 20 candidates in the fray from Anantnag while 22 candidates including National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah will contest from Baramulla.

“The government should answer about the two incidents as it is beating the drums, claiming that the situation in J&K has improved and militancy is over. The attacks took place immediately after the two-day visit of the Home Minister (Amit Shah),” Mufti told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

She reached out to Kashmiri migrant pandits in Jammu as part of her campaigning to garner support from them.

“While a sarpanch was killed in Shopian, another attack took place on tourists…We want to meet the victims in the hospital but we do not know where they have been shifted.

“The attacks reflect the negligence and the failure of the government and there is a possibility that the shortcoming was deliberate to frighten the people so that they do not vote in large numbers in the next two phases,” the former chief minister said.

She said investigation should happen in the incidents.

“The incidents are not only the failure of the government but also suit them (BJP) even if the violence graph goes up due to their negligence.

“They (BJP) are frightened by the huge turnout of the voters (on May 13) in Srinagar as they feel their proxy parties have lost and their candidates will lose their deposits as well. The same thing is going to happen in Baramulla and Anantnag,” she said.

Mufti said the BJP leaders are talking “nonsense in their election campaigns” and should not be taken seriously.

“They are talking about mangalsutra, division of assets of Hindus to benefit minorities, taking back Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK)…which of their announcements will you take seriously. They are talking nonsense during election time and need not be taken seriously,” she said.

The PDP chief appealed to Kashmiri pandits to vote for her party in large numbers to ensure her win from Anantnag constituency.

“I know your problems and issues, and will try my best to address them. I am your neighbour and you should make me successful,” she said. — (PTI)