Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday claimed the situation in Jammu and Kashmir has worsened after the abrogation of Article 370 and called on the people of the union territory to stand up for their "snatched" rights.
Addressing a party convention in Poonch district, Mehbooba termed the Centre's decision to revoke Article 370 "wrong, unconstitutional and undemocratic" and alleged it played with the dignity and honour of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
She also cast doubts on the Centre's intention to hold assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. The Centre revoked the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and split it into two union territories on August 5, 2019. "In view of the prevailing situation, the biggest responsibility lies with the youth. The situation has worsened after the abrogation of Article 370 and they (Centre) are not only taking away our land and jobs but have also played with our honour and dignity. They will not stop till they finish our existence," Mehbooba said.
If people want to keep Jammu and Kashmir alive, the only option before them is to stand up for their "snatched" rights with determination and unity, "otherwise they (Centre) will loot everything from us", she said. "Our struggle did not end on August 5 (2019), instead it was the day when it actually started. We need your support to take this struggle to its logical conclusion in a peaceful manner, without picking up guns and stones," she added.
The PDP leader alleged the youth of Jammu and Kashmir are driven to frustration so that they can ruin their lives by taking drugs or picking up guns to get killed. On the Centre's announcement to hold assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir after the completion of the delimitation exercise, Mehbooba said, "I do not know whether polls will be held because they will not conduct the elections till they are 100 percent sure of dividing the majority vote."
"They have already separated the Hindus and are browbeating Dalits. Now they want to divide Muslim votes on the lines of various names, parties and sects. They have already created many parties and their only intention is to gain a majority in the assembly so that they can justify the August 5, 2019 decision," she said. "They want to weaken our case against the August 5 development in the Supreme Court," she said.
Mehbooba also defended her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's decision to join hands with the BJP to form the government in Jammu and Kashmir, saying his only desire was to end the bloodshed and resolve the Kashmir issue. "We have not lost hope and will continue to strive for the resolution of the Kashmir issue to usher in peace and development in J&K," she said, adding "we acceded to Gandhi's India and not his assassin Godse's India".
Referring to the anti-encroachment drive, Mehbooba said people are being "deprived" of land they have had for generations "on the pretext that it is state's land". This land is being used for constructing buildings for the security forces in the Valley and outsiders in the Jammu region, she claimed.
-With PTI Inputs