Fuming Mehbooba walks out of presser

Fuming Mehbooba walks out of presser

Fuming Mehbooba walks out of presser

 Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s press conference here turned into a high-voltage drama when Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti lost her cool and aborted his candid interaction with the media.

In Kashmir for a fresh outreach, second time within a month, Singh on Thursday was deliberating upon New Delhi’s seriousness to restore peace in the Valley when Mehbooba got up from her chair, declared the termination of the presser and asked the journalists to have tea before leaving the venue — the lawns of her palatial residence on the foothills of the picturesque Zabarwan Hills.

Mehbooba was infuriated when a journalist raised questions about, what many say,  is the disproportionate use of force on protesters and accused her of swapping roles and views with her predecessor Omar Abdullah on the protests.

“Don’t mix or compare the two situations. In 2010, there was a reason for protests as three civilians were killed in a fake encounter in Machi. Today, three militants were killed in an encounter and how is the government to be blamed for that?” she said.

The chief minister also said that those hit by bullets or pellets don’t go out to fetch milk or toffees “but attack police stations and security camps”.

As reporters kept on grilling the chief minister, she got angry and walked out while Singh was still answering the questions.

Mehbooba also said that it was only 5% of the population in Kashmir that was creating trouble. “Around 95% of the people in the Valley want peace. There should be legal proceedings against the 5% of people in Kashmir who are creating trouble,” she said.

Till then, the press conference was going on in a cordial atmosphere. The home minister had been replying to questions with utmost caution of vocabulary. But as Mehbooba lost her cool, Singh was seen smiling and trying to pacify the chief minister.

Congress welcomes Centre’s initiative

The Congress has welcomed the Centre’s “mellowing down” of its “hawkish” stance on the unrest in Kashmir, and want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to spearhead the dialogue to find a solution to the crisis plaguing the Valley, DHNS reports from New Delhi.

This comes hours after Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced in Srinagar that the Centre was open to sending an all-party delegation to Kashmir.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox