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T20 celebration: Mehbooba seeks PM’s intervention in Kashmiri students arrest case

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Former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic  Party president  Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the recent alleged harassment  of  Kashmiri students within  and outside the union territory saying “such punitive actions laced with contempt will only further the sense of mistrust and alienation between the younger generation and rest of the country”.
She requested Modi to intervene so that the “future of these young bright minds is not destroyed”.
“I write to you with a deep sense of disappointment and concern about the alarming situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Not too long ago when you presided over an all-party meeting in Delhi you expressed your intention to remove “dil ke doori” between Delhi and J&K.
“In my capacity as the President of PDP, I suggested a few confidence building measures that would have provided a sense of relief & breathing space to the people of J&K,” she wrote.
She said  they had been waiting for  the rollout of a policy to address  the hearts and minds of people especially youth.
“While the spree of raids, arrests, killings continue unabated the level of repression and state intolerance has touched a new low,” she observed.
She said there were expectations that Home Minister ’s recent visit to J&K would have led to a meaningful reach out.
“Especially after his statement about engaging with the youth here. Instead what followed was shocking & worrying. A friendly cricket match between India & Pakistan that was solely a source of entertainment for people here  bruised by incessant lockdowns, Internet gag & restriction of movement led to booking youngsters under the draconian UAPA for simply choosing to cheer the winning side.
“Our brightest young people pursuing professional courses like MBBS have been targeted and slapped with anti terror laws .While within Kashmir youth are no strangers to the state excesses, three students in Agra too have been arrested & charged with sedition for the same reasons. This despite the college’s own admission that they didn’t engage in any activity that might be construed as anti national,” Mufti said.
“Patriotism & sense of loyalty has to be cultivated with compassion & can’t be forced by wielding the baton or by the barrel of a gun. Such punitive actions laced with contempt will only further the sense of mistrust & alienation between the younger generation & rest of the country,” she added.
Political parties & their fortunes will wax & wane over the course of time. But what matters most is the future generation that will have to carry the burdens of the past yet strive to fulfil the expectations of a better tomorrow. Especially when it comes to a state like J&K  steeped in its history of repeated betrayals & past wounds, she said.
“Wisdom deems it prudent for this government to engage with them, understand their aspirations & goals. I fervently request you to intervene so that the future of these young bright minds is not destroyed,” Mufti added.

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