SOURCE: INDIA TODAY
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti has opposed the Union Territory administration’s decision to sack terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin’s sons. They were among 11 employees who have been sacked by the Jammu and Kashmir government.
Mehbooba Mufti said, “How can sons be persecuted over the actions of his father? No enquiry has been conducted.” “I’ve said this again and again, you can capture a man but not an idea. You’ve to address the idea, as Vajpayee ji [referring to former Atal Bihari Vajpayee — 1998-2004] did. Witch-hunting, criminalisation of dissent is taking our nation back,” Mehbooba Mufti said.
She said, “Vajpayee used to say that we can change friends but not neighbours. If I say that then why I’m being bashed?”
“GOI [Government of India] continues disempowering people of J&K in garb of pseudo nationalism by trampling the constitution that ought to be upheld. Abrupt dismissal of 11 government employees on flimsy grounds is criminal. All policy decisions vis-a-vis J&K are taken with sole objective of punishing Kashmiris,” Mehbooba Mufti had tweeted.
Hitting out at her critics for targeting her over the demand for restoration of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti said, “The National Conference, the PDP and other parties have joined hands for restoration of Article 370 and 35A.”
The two Articles earlier granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, when it was a state incorporating the Union Territory of Ladakh. The special status of Jammu and Kashmir was abrogated in August 2019 through parliamentary approval. Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union Territories.
Mehbooba Mufti said, “When Ram temple issue was sub judice, didn’t people still fight for it? Why I’m being bashed for talking about restoration of Article 370?”
Two police constables, sons of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, and some teachers were among the 11 government employees that the Jammu and Kashmir administration sacked on Saturday for allegedly being involved in terror activities.
As per the administration, these government employees were working as “over ground workers” for terror outfits.
The 11 employees are from the Jammu and Kashmir Police, and departments such as education, agriculture, skill development, power, health, and the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar. Four of these dismissed employees were from Anantnag district, three from Budgam, and one each from Baramulla, Srinagar, Pulwama and Kupwara districts.
Officials said these employees were dismissed under Article 311 of the Constitution. Under this article, no inquiry is held and dismissed employees can only approach a high court for relief.