Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has attacked the state’s clergymen raking up political issues with the intention of disrupting peace. Mehbooba said on the floor of the Assembly on Wednesday that Muslim preachers in various mosques were having a political discourse.

“I would have entered into an alliance with the BJP a thousand times for peace in J&K,” she said, in a message to the clergymen who are said to be questioning her rationale for the alliance.

Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq responded to allegation, saying that they would not allow her to “sell” Kashmir to the RSS on a platter. Mirwaiz said that the religious leadership of Kashmir would not remain silent on the problems faced by the people. He said that Mehbooba cannot dictate the clerics of Kashmir what should be their sermons on a Friday.

Mehbooba had earlier also lambasted the Imams of various mosques for talking about Article 370, industrial policy and the Handwara killings. Playing down the alleged molestation of a schoolgirl in Handwara by an Army jawan, Mehbooba said that there have been several other incidents of molestation in which civilians were involved but the religious leaders were silent about them.

She clarified that the coalition government was committed to protecting Article 370, terming it as the lifeline of relations between J&K and the rest of the country.

Opposition leader Omar Abdullah, meanwhile, alleged that under the Mehbooba-led coalition government, people involved in violence in Jammu are being released whereas teenagers are being booked in Kashmir on the charges of stone-pelting.


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