Srinagar: Claiming that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir was “worse” than Guantanamo Bay, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday said since preparations for holding the G20 event began in the Union territory, hundreds of local youth have been taken into custody.
Speaking at the party headquarters here, she alleged, “Since the process of holding the G20 event has started, the arrest, torture and questioning of youngsters has also begun. People are being called to police stations. Hundreds of youth from south Kashmir have been put in jails.”
“There is no hearing. The situation in J-K is worse than Guantanamo bay. Let them do G-20 event, but why are the youth being arrested?” she asked.
Referring to the militant attack in Poonch in which five Army jawans were killed last week, Mehbooba said after the “unfortunate” incident, security forces have started “harassing” people of the region.
“Like (former J-K governor) Satya Pal Malik said that he was asked to remain silent when the Pulwama attack took place in 2019 (in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed), so, it is hoped that the investigation agencies go deep to probe how the (Poonch) attack took place in such a secured area despite such a huge presence of forces. We want the investigation to take place so that the truth comes out,” she said.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, however, said since the attack, the situation is Poonch is such that “oppression is going on there, people are being arrested, tortured and questioned, during which a person, Mukhtar Shah, a resident of Bataduria area of Poonch, was taken into police custody”.
“Then it was said that he committed suicide. His family is saying if he was in police or Army custody, how could he commit suicide?” she said.
Mehbooba further claimed that “Shah was picked up by the Army and police, his house was raided by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and police. They misbehaved with his elderly father and his wife and children. Then a video come out in which he says that he was fed up because his family and villagers were harassed….”
“There should be an investigation. His family alleges that he did not commit suicide and was under pressure. Then there are two others who have been grievously injured because of sustained questioning,” she added.
The PDP leader said hundreds of people are being questioned and dozens of them are under the Army, police or the NIA custody, adding that many are imprisoned in other states as well.
“People of Rajouri-Poonch are most peaceful. They have never supported guns. Are you (government) deliberately trying to force them to choose a path, the consequences of which, will be bad for us?” she added.
Srinagar city is likely to host one of the G20 events in May this year, according to officials.