PDP Stages Rally to Protest Massive Corruption in Kashmir Government

Srinagar October 05: PDP President Mehbooba Mufti today said the death of Haji Yousuf in illegal detention has exposed the rot that the Abdullah family is presiding over, both in the NC and government. Addressing a rally here today, to protest the high levels of corruption in NC and the government under that party, she said the time had come to change the entire system, from top to bottom, in order to provide the state with decent and accountable governance.

The massive rally comprising party workers and sympathizers was started from the party office and marched through the main street of the city, before it was intercepted by police, who used brute force to disperse it. Even though the rally was completely peaceful and demanded that Omar Abdullah step down to facilitate a fair probe into the death of Yousuf and the wide-spread corruption at the highest level. The police used batons to prevent the rally from going beyond Regal Chowk. Barricades were erected to hold back the protestors.

Mehbooba said corruption was rampant in the state, and during the past three years, this has been institutionalized at the highest political level.

Haji Yousuf’s death had only removed the lid from what was being kept away from public focus, even though the PDP had all along being cautioning about it. She said the rot was complete and had become so common that the Chief Minister was comfortable with discussing illegal transaction of money within his party cadre at his official residence.

She said newspapers are full of scams and the misdoings of the ministers, but Omar Abdullah never even claimed to have discussed these issues in official meetings. The government doesn’t even respond to this report. How is it that he took cognizance of a private transaction within the party cadre and family and used police to sort it out, which resulted in the death of Yousuf in illegal detention, which was ordered by the Chief Minister.

The PDP chief said whenever the issue of corruption was raised, Omar Abdullah would respond by saying “You give me the proof and I will take action.” In the case of Yousuf and other NC workers, Haji Yousuf told him that he had given the money to Dr Farooq Abdullah. Wasn’t that a proof of the involvement of the Chief Minister’s father in corruption? But after having provided the proof, Haji Yousuf was silenced and he paid with his life.

Mehbooba said if the government could file an FIR against Haji Yousuf, under Section 420 of RPC for cheating, why is not the same law applied to Farooq Abdullah?

Mehbooba said Haji Yousuf’s death in the illegal detention underlines the sad fact that nobody is safe in the state. The NC leadership is treating the state as it’s personal estate and misusing the instruments of the state for protecting their hold on power and persecuting their opponents. She said if a man like Yousuf, known to be very close to their family, who carried out most of their underhand political operations, was not safe and the trail of his blood could lead to the Chief Minister’s residence, how could the safety of the ordinary people be guaranteed?

Mehbooba said the PDP planned to take this battle against corruption in government and the ruling party to the gross roots in order to bring about a total change in the system. She said NC had abused power at every level and the system needed a total overhaul. This government had even silenced the institution of legislature and made it almost non functional as the opposition was not allowed to raise the issues of public interest like corruption and crime in high places. She said by not allowing a debate in the legislature on these issues the ruling party had forced the PDP to hit the street, “But we promise them a biffing fight at the popular level” while fully using the democratic methods of protest and public awareness.

Mehbooba said Omar Abdullah cannot allow a fair probe into his misdeeds as long as he holds the CM’s chair. Citing the example of the post mortem of Haji Yousuf she said the official machinery has already been used to hush up the matter. Same officers whose name has been mentioned in the episode have been fielded to defend the Omar while the CM himself refuses to reply any questions. She said Omar Abdullah on day one declared that Haji Yousuf had died of heart attack and the concerned agencies only ensured that the CM is not proved wrong and produced a highly doubtful postmortem report which has highly been rejected by the family of the deceased.

Among others the rally was attended by party general secretary Mohammed Dilawar Mir, Mohd Sartaj Madni, Qazi Mohammed Afzal, Tariq Hameed Karra, Nizamudin Bhat , Mohd khalil Bandh, Basharat Bukhari, Mansoor Hussain, Ab Razaq Zawoora , Syed Bashir Ahmed ,Ab Haq Khan, Ch Zulufkar Ahmed, Mohd Ashraf Mir, Nizamudin Khatana, Gh Nabi Lone Hanjura, Mushtaq Ahmed Shah, Peer Mohd Hussain, Ab Hameed Kosheen, Saifudin Bhat, Nazir Ahmed Laway, Mohd Shafi Bandey, Ab Rahim Rather, Ashok Bhat, Nazir Ahmed Yatoo, Showkat Gayoor, and All Zonal Presidents of the valley.

Syed Irfan Aziz, from Sopore, a small town in North Kashmir, India, is currently Executive Editor of the Daily English newspaper INSIDE KASHMIR and is a freelance News Producer in electronic media.