Srinagar: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said the Jammu and Kashmir administration’s decision to blacklist acontractors for their alleged links to militants was “arbitrary” and appealed to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to reconsider it.
In a letter to Sinha, she said the previous governments in J and K had created a rehabilitation policy for such people with the purpose to ensure their acceptance amongst society with dignity and remove the stigma of “association”.
“I’d like to draw your attention to the tragic consequences of the administration’s recent decision to blacklist contractors. It is being carried out in an arbitrary manner on the erroneous assumption of direct or indirect links with militants,” Mehbooba wrote in the letter.
She said a cursory glance at the list reveals that most of the contractors were not even militants to begin with.
“The fifty-odd, who were, have shunned militancy a long time ago whereas the majority of those disqualified are related through ties of blood but are not involved in any form of violent activity,” she said.
The former chief minister said the previous elected governments in J and K successfully created a rehabilitation policy for such persons.
“The purpose it served was to ensure their acceptance amongst society with dignity and remove the stigma of ‘association’. It also had a larger contribution in strengthening the reconciliation process despite the fact that their decision to do so was fraught with dangerous consequences. Many were gunned down for making a choice that was viewed as a betrayal,” she said.
Mehbooba said it was during former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure when her father and PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as chief minister had advocated and implemented a package to provide financial aid to the victims of militancy.
“This also extended to orphans of insurgents who bore the brunt for a situation that was beyond their control,” she said.
“Today after toiling for a life of dignity for decades, these people have been reduced to mute bystanders as their lives are being uprooted. Therefore, I urge you to reconsider your decision on humanitarian grounds,” she added.
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