Former Chief Minister and President of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti has accused ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of “tearing apart the very spirit of India to build its organisation in furtherance of its vindictive and fanatic political agenda”.

Addressing a party workers rally in the border town of Rajouri, Mehbooba alleged; “Journalists and columnists are being booked for reporting facts, farmers are being targeted and defamed for seeking their rights, students and minorities are being pushed to walls. NIA, CBI, ED and every agency was being used to settle political scores and curb democratic voices”, she said.

Mehbooba was addressing party workers convention in the border township for the first time after abrogation of special status of erstwhile J&K state. She was accompanied by General Secretary and former MLC Surinder Choudhary and many former legislators.

“The sole purpose of this brazen use of muscle power and government machinery to squeeze political space in the country is aimed at strengthening BJP as organisation”, she said adding “Unfortunately this is being done at the cost of India’s interests both internally and externally”. She said that the plans of fanatic forces to enforce majoritarianism have not succeeded anywhere in the world and it is bound to fail here too.

Terming the Armed Forces Specials Powers (AFSPA) as a blot on the democratic values of this country, the former chief minister counted several instances with the absolute powers under the law were misused and innocent lives lost. “Three innocent youth from Rajouri were abducted and killed in cold blood in Shopian to win medals. The details emerging as how the encounter was staged sends shivers down the spine”, she said adding that in recent such encounters across Kashmir very young people have been killed in so called encounters in contrary to the claims of families of the deceased.

Reiterating her stand about the special status of Jammu and Kashmir abrogated by union government, Mufti said that her party shall carry forward the struggle even if it is left alone to fight. “I have made it clear that my personal struggle is only for restoration of dignity and honour of people. My party and our workers have pledged to be with me in the fight which is surely going to be long and tough. I want to assure you that we shall not give up and I am confident that the day will come when New Delhi will restore everything forcibly and unconstitutionally snatched from us along with interests”, she said while urging people to stand firm and united.

Referring to her father Mufti Sayeed, Mehbooba said his yearning for realising the dream of resolution of the Kashmir issue even saw him putting everything at stake and joining hands with BJP to work towards the resolution of the vexed issue. He always chose to fight and risk it big in the hope of providing relief and in the interest of the people of J&K,” Mehbooba added.