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Mehbooba Mufti Condemns Civilian Killings in Poonch


SRINAGAR: Expressing concern over the situation unfolding in border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, former Chief Minister and President of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti Saturday said that reports of civilian killings that followed the ambush of an operational team of security forces were appalling and needs to be thoroughly probed.

Mufti demanded an immediate and impartial probe into the alleged deaths of three civilians, highlighting their mutilated bodies and reports of widespread torture allegedly inflicted on the detained villagers.

“The ongoing miseries faced by the people of Jammu and Kashmir have reached a horrifying peak,” Mufti said at a press conference here. “Three innocent lives have been snatched away, their bodies said to be bearing brutal marks of torture while authorities have maintained a criminal silence. Can anyone dare claim normalcy in a land where such barbarity runs rampant?”

Quoting locals, Mehbooba said that 15 individuals from Topa village were detained by the army for questioning. “Three of them – Mohd Shabbir, Showkat Hussain, and Safeer Hussain – were later found dead and their bodies allegedly bearing telltale signs of torture. The remaining 12 detainees are also undergoing treatments in hospitals across Surankote and Poonch.”

Mocking the BJP’s ‘Naya Kashmir’ slogan, Mufti highlighted that even army soldiers don’t feel safe in this new version of Kashmir. Blaming both the Central government and State administration, Mufti expressed concern over the escalating situation in these twin districts, citing recent distressing incidents.

“People are being held in custody. Under the UAPA, journalists face arrest for telling the truth. They now decide what can be uttered on mosque pulpits. Lives have been made miserable and government employees have been silenced.”

Mehbooba said that BJP is attacking locals in an attempt to conceal its failures. “While BJP is tormenting locals to cover up for its shortcomings, troops are providing services and giving their lives in the process. In this NAYA Kashmir, neither the army nor the locals are safe.”

Mufti cited widely circulated news articles and online videos as evidence, expressing deep concern over the escalating brutality against civilians in the region. She vehemently challenged the BJP’s claims of normalcy, calling Jammu and Kashmir an “open prison” where basic freedoms are systematically crushed.

“Remember Amshipora?” Mufti questioned, referring to the infamous fake encounter case where three civilians were killed. “The Army court found the culprits guilty, only for the civil court to overturn the verdict. Where is justice in this broken system?”

Mufti urged Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to order a thorough probe into the Poonch incident and ensure swift action against those responsible. She also demanded Rs 50 lakh compensation for each deceased family and Rs 5 lakh for the injured, emphasizing the need for accountability and a strong message against such atrocities.

“Though we have little faith on such probes the authorities must come out with an explanation and till than at least the families of these youngsters, who were in their mid thirties must be compensated,” she said.



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