Govt using repression to silence people: Farooq Abdullah

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Srinagar, National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday accused the government of using “repressive tactics” to silence voices of dissent even as he expressed concern over rampant arrests and harassment of people in Kashmir.

“The PDP-BJP government can’t silence people who are fighting for justice and democratic rights. Instead of providing democratic space to people and political opponents the government is using barbaric methods to stifle voice of dissent,” Abdullah said. The National Conference leader made the statement while visiting different parts of summer capital Srinagar today including Hazratbal, Lalbazar, Alamgari Bazar, Zadibal, Hawal, Karan Nagar and Budshah Chowk.

“For the past 60 years Kashmiris are being subjected to suppression and no efforts are being made to redress their sufferings,” Abdullah said. Referring to summer unrest of 2016 in which 96 civilians were killed and over 15000 persons injured, the three-time Chief Minister and former Union Minister said such “repressive methods only deepen alienation among people.”

Expressing concern over rampant arrests and lodging of cases against Kashmiri youth, Abdullah said instead of adopting the policy of hand-holding of Kashmiris the government was resorting to rampant arrests and subjecting people to humiliation.

“The policy adopted by the government is only going to alienate people and deepen the divide. During the past few six months the government has lodged cases against thousands of youth, destroying their career. What is the option left with such youth? The government is forcing Kashmiris to raise their voices,” said Abdullah.

Referring to the youth who were blinded by the use of pellet guns by the forces, Abdullah said the government, after doing some lip service, has forgotten these helpless youth.

“It is the responsibility of the government to not only take care of the medical treatment of these pellet hit youth but also to ensure their rehabilitation to allow them live a respected life,” said Abdullah.

The former chief minister said the government was adopting “repressive methods” to silence the people and it can’t be absolved of the “crimes and the war it let loose on people.”

Abdullah said the callous attitude of the government has added to woes of people. “What is the achievement of this government except use of pellets and bullets on its people? The government has miserably failed on the developmental front and now it is inventing excuses and hiding behind hollow arguments to hide its mis-governance,” said Abdullah.

He said though it was the beauty of democratic system to give space to voices of dissent, in Jammu and Kashmir the reverse was happening.

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