Level of repression, state intolerance touched a new low: Mufti to PM Modi

Level of repression, state intolerance touched a new low: Mufti to PM Modi

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in the matter regarding the arrests of three Kashmiri students in Agra for allegedly celebrating Pakistan’s win over India in a T20 World Cup match.

Srinagar: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in the matter regarding the arrests of three Kashmiri students in Agra for allegedly celebrating Pakistan’s win over India in a T20 World Cup match.

In the letter, dated October 29, Mufti mentioned that the “level of repression and state intolerance has touched a new low.”

“I write to you with a deep sense of disappointment and concern about the alarming situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Not too long ago when you presided over an all party meeting in Delhi you expressed your intention to remove ‘dill ki doori’ between Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir. In my capacity as the President of PDP, I suggested a few confidence building measures that would have provided a sense of relief and breathing space to the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Mufti wrote.

“We had been waiting for the roll out of a policy to address the hearts and minds of people especially youth. While the spree of raids, arrests, killings continue unabated the level of repression and state intolerance has touched a new low,” she added.

Mufti said that there were expectations that Home Minister Amit Shah’s recent visit to Jammu and Kashmir would have led to a “meaningful reach out.” 

“Especially after his statement about engaging with the youth here. Instead what followed was shocking and worrying. A friendly cricket match between India and Pakistan that was solely a source of entertainment for people here bruised by incessant lockdowns, internet gag and restriction of movement led to booking youngsters under the draconian UAPA for simply choosing to cheer the winning side,” she said. 

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“Our brightest young people pursuing professional courses like MBBS have been targeted and slapped with anti terror laws. While within Kashmir youth are no strangers to the state excesses, three students in Agra too have been arrested and charged with sedition for the same reasons. This despite the college’s own admission that they didn’t engage in any activity that might be construed as anti-national,” she added.

Mufti went on to say that patriotism and sense of loyalty has to be cultivated with “compassion and can’t be forced by wielding the baton or by the barrel of a gun.” 

“Such punitive actions laced with contempt will only further the sense of mistrust and alienation between the younger generation and rest of the country,” she said.

In the end, she wrote, “I fervently request you to intervene so that the future of these young bright minds is not destroyed.” 

The Agra Police had on Wednesday arrested three Kashmiri students for allegedly celebrating Pakistan’s victory over India in the T20 World Cup match held on October 24 and publishing anti-India messages on social platforms. The three students have been identified as Inayat Altaf Shaikh, Shaukat Ahmed Gani and Arshid Yousuf, said Vikas Kumar, Agra SP. 

All the students are studying at RBS College Bichpuri. The students have been arrested under Section 153 (A) (Promoting disharmony), and 505 (Publishing and circulating a statement or report containing rumour or alarming news).

first published:Oct. 30, 2021, 4:29 p.m.

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