Central Unjust Actions in Jammu and Kashmir: Mufti Speaks Out Against Government Brutality

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Describing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s calls for peace as mere rhetoric, Mehbooba Mufti, the president of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stated on Monday that the government’s decision to place her under house arrest is meant to convey a message that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are voiceless and have no one to turn to for help.

Mufti, a former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, revealed that she was confined to her home by the police prior to her planned visit to Surankote in Poonch to meet with the families of three civilians who reportedly died while being interrogated by security forces following an attack by militants on two Indian Army vehicles last week.

Accusing the government of treating its own people as enemies of the state, Mufti claimed that the leaked video showing Army personnel allegedly mistreating civilians in Poonch was released to instill fear in the population.

The 29-second video, which circulated on social media, reportedly shows Army personnel beating civilians, stripping them, and applying chilli powder to their wounds and private parts.

“They want to show the already marginalized people of Jammu and Kashmir that they have no one to advocate for their well-being. They will inflict suffering on you, but will not allow anyone to alleviate your pain. This is a grave injustice. What could be worse?” she questioned.

“They beat and torture people in custody, film it, and share it,” Mufti remarked. “It is obvious that a civilian cannot film a video while in Army custody and distribute it. They want to demonstrate their power to instill fear in all of us. How much more fear do they want to instill?”

Mufti expressed concerns about disturbing reports coming from Poonch and emphasized the importance of visiting the area to meet with the families of the victims. She alleged that individuals from various areas, including Thanamandi, Pargai, and nearby villages, were being detained and subjected to harsh treatment, with many in critical condition in hospitals.

“In Thanamandi Pargai, a boy named Farooq is fighting for his life in the hospital. In 2005, militants attacked him, resulting in the deaths of five family members. What more can a person sacrifice for the country? Now, he has been arrested and tortured to the point where he is struggling to survive. This is a great injustice,” she claimed.

Mufti remarked that the “heartbreaking situations are altering the dynamics,” stating that the promise to bridge the gap between hearts and Delhi is fading away.

On the previous Friday, eight civilians were taken into custody by security forces for questioning in connection with the militants’ attack on two Army vehicles, with three of them later found dead, sparking outrage in the region. Four Army soldiers were killed in the ambush on Thursday evening.

Five others were hospitalized with injuries in Rajouri. Family members alleged that the eight individuals had been subjected to torture during interrogation.

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