After the sister of a suspected terrorist and her husband were beaten up allegedly by the police in Jammu and Kashmir, former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti asserted that she "won't allow bloodshed in south Kashmir and it won't be made a battleground". She also warned the police against a repeat of the incident.
"This is unacceptable. If you want to fight terrorists, fight them. Don't harass their families," Ms Mufti said after meeting Rubina at her home in Pulwama on Sunday.
Rubina, her husband and brother were mercilessly beaten up in police custody, Ms Mufti claimed.
Visited Patipora Pulwama where Rubina (whose brother happens to be a militant )was along with her husband & brother beaten mercilessly in police custody. The severe nature of her injuries has left her bedridden. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/HX3JwVf8gh- Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) December 30, 2018
"This is a sad incident. The girl was ill-treated, her clothes were removed and she was beaten up by a station house officer (SHO). How could he touch a woman? Only a woman police officer can do so," she told reporters outside Rubina's home.
She urged the governor to take action against the policeman and ensure that such incidents don't happen in the future.
Urge the @jandkgovernor to initiate action and prevent such incidents in the future. If harassment of families of militants isnt stopped, it will have consequences leading to further alienation in the valley. 2/2- Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) December 30, 2018
The visit, however, is seen by many as yet another attempt by Mehbooba Mufti to strengthen her base ahead of assembly elections in the state. She is trying to send out a larger message to these families that somebody is there to hear them out, they say.
Her critics add that harassment and atrocities against families of terrorists marked her rule which ended in June when the BJP withdrew support to the coalition government.
The state is expected to vote for a new government by May next year.
Governor Satya Pal Malik had on November 21 dissolved the 87-member state assembly after the PDP, supported by the Congress and their arch rivals National Conference, had staked claim to form the government.
Simultaneously, the two-member People's Conference led by Sajjad Lone had also staked claim to form a government with 25 members of the BJP and other 18 unknown members.
The governor had listed horse-trading and lack of stability to form a government as the reasons for his decision.