Binoo Joshi


Last  time , any statement of significance   heard from  Jammu and Kashmir  Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti  was in September 29 after the Indian surgical  strikes  at the terrorist camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir  when she passionately pleaded for “restraint and reconciliation between India and  Pakistan” for any “ escalation in hostilities between  the  two neighbouring countries  could  spell more  death and destruction for the Himalayan state ,  already reeling   under uncertainty.

Thereafter, she has gone in a silent mode. She has not issued any statement other than customary greetings on festivals and condolences for politicians and others who breathed their last   during this period.  There were no statements when the army camp was attacked in Baramullah, or when terrorists mounted fidayeen attack at Entrepreneurship Development Institute near Pampore on Monday when SSB convoy was attacked on Friday – something unusual because she had been consistent in condemning such assaults ever since she assumed the office of the Chief Minister on April 4.

If sources are to be believed she was deeply upset with the approach of the security forces in using  what she  deemed and was fed “excessive force” against protestors, particularly after a young boy Junaid Akhoon was killed  in  Eidgah area  of Srinagar  early this month. Her party , “Peoples Democratic Party” not only condemned the killing , claiming that  the boy was killed  at a time when there were no protests in the congested residential enclave  in Srinagar downtown –  something that the police challenged. PDP had also sought an inquiry into  the incident , obviously the party could not have issued such a statement  without the consent of   Mehbooba  who doubles up as PDP president and Chief Minister.

This sounded some sort of   a paradox . The ruling  party seeking probe into the  killing of the boy from its own government sounded odd .  She has voiced her annoyance with silence  or maybe  she reprimanded  the police for its action . It is her style of politics . Even when her father was Chief Minister twice, she would raise voice against the Government on the issues of the alleged human rights violations .  This time, she  expressed her anger through the party statement .

Her silence  has multiple interpretations , and one of the most  significant among those is that she is contemplating some  big political move as two statements  of her party in the subsequent days have hinted at  party’s  commitment  to work for the urges and aspirations of the people .