Troops deployed in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) earn a bounty off killing ‘armed’ Kashmiri youth while New Delhi has put local jobs, contracts and land for sale to outsiders and security forces.
These accusations were levelled by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chief and former IIOJK chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday.
According to the Indian news wire service, ANI, Mufti was addressing a news conference where she took aim at the recent excesses of the Indian government.
They (security forces) get money by killing you (Kashmiri youth), the former IIOJK chief minister said, as she urged the Kashmiri youngsters and their parents to stop their young ones from picking up weapons against Indian forces.
I request them to stop picking [up] gun, she was reported as stating.
To substantiate her point, she recalled a blast which took place in Shopian in a Sumo vehicle.
They arrested the driver Showkat Ahmad Sheikh and took him in custody, Mufti said, noting that after 10 days, the security forces claimed that Sheikh had been killed in an encounter in Kupwara.
How did he reach there from custody, she asked.
She also accused New Delhi of attempting to engineer the demographics of the region.
Our jobs are put on sale, she said, adding that native lands are prioritized and given to the security forces first.
All large and small contracts, the former chief minister claimed, are being given to outsiders such as contracts to build the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Jammu and Kashmir.
All methods to disempower IIOJK people are being used, she said.
As an example, she pointed to how Kashmiri children were now being denied an education - whether in public schools or traditional madrassas.
Madrassas provide modern education at a minimal price. They are not giving weapons training?
She further asked why schools on government land were also being shut?
Teachers will be left helpless, Mufti lamented, adding that New Delhi wanted to take away the education of Kashmiri children.