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Don’t fall prey to right-wing provocations, Mehbooba urges Muslim community

By Special Correspondent

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday asked Muslims in the country not to fall prey to provocations of right-wing groups and “maintain peace even if it means handing over all mosques and places like Taj Mahal and Qutub Minar to them”.

“I appeal to Indian Muslims to maintain peace and stick to your imaan (faith). We Muslims can pray wherever we kneel. We do not need structures for prayers. These (right wing) groups want to provoke Muslims so that they can destroy their houses later. Let them take all the mosques, Qutub Minar and Taj Mahal. But take them in one go and not make it an everyday provocation,” Ms. Mufti said.

She said if taking over the Mughal-era structures would end poverty and unemployment in the country, the government should go ahead with it. 

“I must warn it could be worse in India than what is happening in Sri Lanka. The previous Sri Lanka regime too sold hyper-nationalism to people and pitted one religion against another. India is already behind Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal on account of poverty indicator,” Ms. Mufti said.  

‘New laws aimed to grab land, jobs’

Ms. Mufti alleged that the new laws introduced in J&K were aimed at “grabbing land and robbing locals of jobs”.

“Stamp duty has been waived off on land. All new laws are aimed at grabbing land and robbing locals of jobs. The administration is interested in advertising jobs only when outsiders are able to apply. I am sure there will be no land left in the coming future for local youth,” she said.

Ms. Mufti asked people from all regions of J&K to unite and put up a joint fight. “Since the abrogation of provisions of Article 370, J&K is facing difficult times. Youths are being picked up on flimsy grounds. Houses are razed during encounters. Our identity is under attack,” she said.

The former Chief Minister said the only Muslim-majority State decided to accede to India in 1947 “because people believed they will be treated equal, granted a special status and be able to live in communal harmony in a secular state”. “All that has been smashed by the current regime,” she added.

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