BJP trying to destroy Jammu and Kashmir's economy, but PM Narendra Modi watching silently


SRINAGAR: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday alleged that the BJP was trying to destroy Jammu and Kashmir's economy and “oppress” the people, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “watching silently” and said she had “no hopes from him”. Speaking to reporters in Kupwara, the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir also sought to know from the Centre why there was an increase in the strength of security personnel if there was peace in the Valley, as claimed by the government. "The situation that has been created by the BJP in J-K...for the last three years, people are being arrested, raids are conducted every day, employees are being fired from their jobs and retired Army personnel from outside are being employed. It seems the policy is to destroy the economy of Jammu and Kashmir, our identity is being destroyed and our prime minister is watching silently and I have no hopes from him," she said. On the government's claim of peace in the union territory, she said, "Then more bunkers should not have come up and people would not have been frisked everywhere. If the situation was peaceful, the number of security forces would have decreased and many of them been sent back. AFSPA should have ended, this arrest spree ended. "But this is not happening. Rather, 10 lakh security forces personnel are here. Kashmir, in the entire world, has the highest number of security personnel deployed corresponding to its population. Dangerous laws, including PSA (Public Safety Act) and UAPA (Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act), are being used here, agencies like National Investigation Agency, Enforcement Directorate are used," she said. The Peoples Democratic Party chief also alleged that the youth were being arrested without any evidence. "Sometimes they (police) label them (youth) as white-collared militants, sometimes as hybrid militants, sometimes as militant sympathisers. After few days, we hear that there has been an encounter in Srinagar. We do not understand what is happening," she said. Mehbooba further said New Delhi had made Jammu and Kashmir a prison and it was trying to “oppress the people through the barrel of gun”, but added it will not last long. "A time will come when you will have to pay a huge price for all that you have done here," she said. Reacting to the arrest of 13 youth for allegedly sloganeering and creating a ruckus at Jamia Masjid after Friday prayers, Mehbooba said people can be imprisoned, not their ideas and ideologies. Taking to Twitter, she wrote, "Disturbing to see Kashmiri youth rounded up on pretext or another. People can be imprisoned but certainly not their ideas & ideologies. An idea one doesnt agree with can only be replaced by a better one. This is possible only through dialogue & reconciliation, not oppression."