Atmosphere of hate deepening divide between communities: Farooq, Mehbooba

Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said an atmosphere of hate has been created in the country that is driving a wedge between various communities and called for efforts to arrest this trend.

Abdullah said if the gap between the communities is to be bridged, the hateful campaigns like ‘The Kashmir Files’ film and incessant Hindu-Muslim debates on the media have to be stopped.

“If we have to come close to each other, this hate has to be removed. I told him (Lieutenant Governor) about that film (The Kashmir Files) also. I asked him if he thought it can be true that a Muslim will kill a Hindu and then put the blood in rice and ask his wife to eat it? Do you think we have fallen so low?” the Lok Sabha member and National Conference president told reporters in Anantnag district.

Abdullah said ‘The Kashmir Files’ was a baseless movie which has not only spread hatred across the country but even here in Kashmir.

“Our youth is full of anger about how we have been projected in the movie. The injustices meted out to Muslims across the country are stoking passions among our youth as well. Such things (movies) should be stopped. The media, which is spreading hate in the country, should be stopped,” he added.

Abdullah said during a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Sunday, PAGD leaders raised the issue of killing of Kashmiri Pandit employee Rahul Bhat inside his office at Chadoora on May 12.

“We wanted to go to Kulgam where a Rajput was killed, we wanted to go to Budgam (Rahul Bhat’s residence) but you did not allow. We did not want to go there to do politics but to express solidarity with the bereaved. How can this continue? How will we come close to each other?“ he asked.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, who was part of the PAGD delegation, said the National Conference, PDP and Congress governments ensured the safety of Kashmiri Pandits even at the peak of unrest in the valley in 2010 and 2016.

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“Even during the peak unrest in 2010 and 2016, there was no killing of Kashmiri Pandits. But the atmosphere of hate they have created, especially after ‘The Kashmir Files’ movie, a narrative is being pushed to poison minds.

Muzaffar Shah, during our interaction with the LG, told him that this constant Hindu-Muslim debate on TV channels for four hours is further fuelling this. It also directly affects the people of Jammu and Kashmir because when you target Muslims, it widens the gap,” Mehbooba said.

Asked about the ongoing survey at Gyanvapi mosque complex, she said the BJP should give a list of all mosques they want to take over. “Babri mosque was brought down and now they want to build something else there…These claims on mosques are only to fuel hate,” she said.

Mehbooba wondered if the government would focus on development agenda like providing two crore jobs annually and bringing down the fuel costs to pre-2014 levels once these mosques were given to them.

“I have said this earlier as well. For us Muslims, Allah is where we prostrate,” she added.

Mehbooba said the BJP and other right-wing groups were going after assets built by the Mughals.

“What all will they bring down? Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar, Red Fort …. All these were built by the Mughals. Fifty percent of tourists come to our country to visit these historical places,” she added.

The delegation of the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) met Jammu and Kashmiri Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar on Sunday.