Srinagar: Kashmiri separatist Asiya Andrabi has been featured in a Jammu and Kashmir government poster of 12 women achievers, juxtaposing the signature veiled photograph of the jailed separatist facing terror cases with pictures of Mother Teresa and the state's junior Health Minister Asiea Naqash.
The other nine photographs in this controversial poster displayed as part of the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' campaign include Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, noted singer Lata Mangeshkar, tennis star Sania Mirza and Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi.
The poster, aimed at highlighting the women achievers of the country, was put out at a function attended by ministers, lawmakers and top officials to promote girl education in south Kashmir's Kokernag town.
There was no official comment from the ruling PDP-BJP alliance government or the two parties on the faux pas. News agency PTI said even the state government's designated spokespersons could not be reached for their comments.
But as the state government was lampooned on social media, an unsigned order by the Anantnag district chief was leaked out, purportedly suspending the local Chief Development Project Officer Shameema Akhter pending an inquiry. It said the Kokernag sub-divisional magistrate would inquire into the "mishandling of the function regarding Beti Bachao Beti Padhao celebrated today".
Andrabi, the pro-Pakistan chief of 'Dukhtaran-e-Millat' (daughters of the nation) organisation is currently in jail under Public Safety Act for her separatist activities. She has several cases registered against her including under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
"Some local officer's favourite people," tweeted former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, pointing that he would have been hauled over the coals if the mistake had been made when he was the Chief Minister.
'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' (save girl, educate girl) is one of the prominent campaigns of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
(With inputs from PTI)