Mehbooba slams Centre, says 'gloves are finally off'

Srinagar: Former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti addresses a press conference in Srinagar, Monday, December 31, 2018. ( PTI Photo/S Irfan) (PTI12_31_2018_000046A)

The "gloves are finally off and India has chosen territory over people", former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Friday as speculations grew in the valley about some possible major decisions regarding the state's special status.

"You failed to win over the love of a single Muslim majority state which rejected division on religious grounds & chose secular India. The gloves are finally off & India has chosen territory over people," Mehbooba, the PDP president, wrote on Twitter.

She said New Delhi seemed to be preparing "to rob" the people of Jammu and Kashmir of "whatever little is left to protect their unique identity".

"(PDP founder and two-time chief minister) Mufti (Mohammad Sayeed) sahab would always say that whatever Kashmiris will get, it will be from their own country India. But today the same country seems to be preparing to rob them of whatever little is left to protect their unique identity," she said in another tweet.

Earlier, the former chief minister expressed hope that Kashmir would not be "used as a red herring to distract masses from the real issues".

"The economy is in free fall but I hope like always Kashmir isn't used as a red herring to distract masses from the real issues. Such a move will have catastrophic consequences & push Kashmiris to the brink," she said.

Mehbooba said for a state that is often referred to as the crown of India, "the uncaring and callous treatment meted out to its people is disconcerting".

"Ideally some sort of clarification should've been issued. Instead, a misinformation campaign is being run while an uneasy calm prevails in Kashmir," she said as the valley remained on the edge even as a fresh order asking Amarnath yatris and tourists to leave Kashmir was issued by the state administration.

In the aftermath of the order, people started buying essentials and lining up at petrol pumps to fill their vehicle fearing disturbances in the law and order situation.

"Complete chaos on the streets of Srinagar. People rushing to ATMs, petrol pumps & stocking up on essential supplies. Is GOI only concerned about the safety of yatris while Kashmiris have been left to their own devices?" she said as the city witnessed traffic jams at several places. 

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