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Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir are “harassing” the family members of separatists to “peddle propaganda” by making them disown their families, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti alleged on Tuesday. Her remarks came after jailed separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah’s daughter Sama Shabir and deceased Pakistan supporter Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s granddaughter Ruwa Shah dissociated themselves from the separatist ideology and pledged their loyalty to the sovereignty of the Union of India.

“Kashmir witnessed a time when gun toting militants threatened and forced political workers to disassociate themselves from the mainstream or face dire consequences. Today that pattern is being repeated and what makes it even more disturbing is that the role is being played by the state itself. They are harassing families of separatists.

“Not even sparing their daughters to peddle propaganda by making them disown their families. Even after a brutal crackdown and suppression GOI continues to feel paranoid. Shameless is an understatement for such cowardly actions,” the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said in a post on X.

In identical public notices published in local newspapers, Sama Shabir and Ruwa Shah distanced themselves from separatist politics.

Ruwa Shah, daughter of Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmad Shah alias Altaf Fantoosh, issued a public notice distancing herself from the Hurriyat Conference faction founded by her late grandfather. She also declared that she has no inclination or sympathy towards the Hurriyat ideology.

“I am a loyal citizen of India not affiliated with any organisation or association which has an agenda against the Union of India and I owe allegiance to the Constitution of my country (India),” she said in the notice published in a local daily last week.

Her father, who was also in jail for alleged terror funding, died last year after a prolonged illness.

In a separate public notice published in a local newspaper, 23-year-old Sama Shabir, a former CBSE exam topper in Kashmir, emphasised her status as a loyal Indian citizen and unequivocally distanced herself from the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP), the banned separatist organisation founded by her father, who is currently in Delhi’s Tihar Jail on money-laundering and terror-funding charges.

“I am a loyal citizen of India and I am not affiliated with any person or organisation which is against the sovereignty of the Union of India,” Sama Shabir, the elder daughter of Shabir Ahmad Shah, said in the notice.

“I am not associated with the DFP or its ideology in any way,” she stated, cautioning that legal action would be pursued against anyone linking her to the separatist group without authorisation.