PDP distances itself from 'controversial' ex-police officer

PDP distances itself from 'controversial' ex-police officer

PDP distances itself from 'controversial' ex-police officer

Finding itself on the defensive over series of controversies just ahead of crucial Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Monday distanced itself from former counter insurgency specialist police officer Ashiq Bukhari.

A controversy erupted after a local English daily last week carried a report that Bukhari, a former SSP of Srinagar, had joined the PDP. The newspaper had also highlighted how Bukhari allegedly killed hundreds of militants during his tenure in Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir police. The next day, the editor of the newspaper got a threatening phone call from Bukhari, who allegedly made reproachful remarks, blatantly asking him (editor), among many other things, “Did I kill any of your relatives.”

Over the last few days, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah during his election rallies raised the issue several times saying the “PDP has given shelter to Bukhari while chattering for human rights.”

However, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti dismissed the reports of Bukhari joining the party. “The reports (joining of Bukhari) are not true and I don’t know how it has come in the media,” she told reporters.

Countering Omar’s assertions, she said, “Isn’t he (Omar) the same person who in 2010 used to say if anybody hurls a stone he won’t be spared and will be killed. Now he (Omar) admits that during his tenure 120 boys were killed by Task Force in 2010. Till now he used to make AFSPA an excuse to take action against Army personnel involved in killings.”

“But if the Task Force works under chief minister, why didn’t he take any action against them after they killed 120 boys in 2010,” she said. The firebrand PDP president claimed that not only 120 boys were killed by STF in 2010, “Omar justified the killings.”

“And then when people tried to protest against the killings, FIRs in thousands were registered against them. He (Omar) termed the angry boys as drug addicts, militants and criminals,” she alleged.