Struggle for resolution of Kashmir to continue: Mehbooba Mufti’s message after release
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has issued a terse message to Delhi.
Just hours after her release, Mufti, in an audio message, said the people will have to continue struggling for the resolution of Kashmir issue and whatever was snatched by Delhi on August 5, 2019 will have to be taken back.
“I have become free today after more than a year. During this time the black decision of August 5, 2019, black day, would always pain my heart and soul. And I realise that the people of J&K would have the same feeling. Nobody among us can forget the day’s robbery and humiliation,” she said in the 1 minute 23 second audio message.
“Now we all will have to reiterate that whatever Delhi Darbar, unconstitutionally and undemocratically, snatched away from us will have to be taken back,” she said.
Mehbooba Mufti was released late Tuesday after remaining in custody since August 2019 when the Indian government imposed emergency laws, snapped all communications and sent thousands of extra troops into the Muslim-majority state.
Mufti, 61, was arrested along with three other former chief ministers and other top politicians under the Public Safety Act that allows authorities to keep people in custody for up to two years without charge or a trial.
The other three former chief ministers have since been released but many of the roughly 8,000 other detainees, including some politicians, remain in custody.
Mufti's detention order was revoked late Tuesday, without authorities providing any explanation, just a day before India's Supreme Court was scheduled to hear a petition in her case.
Mufti, who also heads the regional Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), ran the state from 2016 until 2018 before her alliance partner, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, withdrew its support.
India's government had justified her detention on the grounds that it prevented violence in the aftermath of the August 2019 move, which also saw the state split in two and downgraded to union territories governed directly from New Delhi.
Modi's government says the revocation of Kashmir's special status was necessary for the region's development and for ending a three-decade armed rebellion that has left thousands dead, mostly civilians.
Her party leaders said that she will address a press conference on Friday. Mufti also said that the struggle for a Kashmir resolution will continue.
“Also we will have to carry on our struggle for the resolution of the Kashmir issue for which thousands gave their lives. I agree this path is not easy but I am hopeful that our resolve will help us in this,” she said.
She also demanded the release of all those who have been jailed like her. “Now that I have been released I also demand the release of the people of Jammu and Kashmir who have been jailed in different prisons of the country,” she said.