Sat. May 25th, 2019

Politics over pellet: Sajad a defender turned critic

Mainstream politicians who could not persuade the Narendra Modi led BJP government to replace pellet guns with less lethal weapons for four long years are now condemning the use of pellets on protesters taking to streets against the alleged rape of a minor girl of Sumbal area of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district. At least the leaders who were part of previous PDP-BJP coalition government don’t have any moral right to condemn the use of pellets as they are responsible for giving a free hand to police, paramilitaries and army to use pellets against the protesters for the first time in the year 2016 and thereafter the pellets were randomly used before and after the fall of Mehbooba Mufti led PDP-BJP coalition government. Ironically Peoples Conference Chairman and former minister Sajad Gani Lone the man who while defending the use of pellet guns for crowd control policing during budget session of the assembly in January 2017 blamed former Chief Minister and National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah for introducing the pellet guns. Surprisingly when Omar Abdullah dared Lone to advise the then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to use her powers to withdraw the pellet gun the way he as chief minister used powers to introduce them, Lone replied “situational compulsion has forced the government to allow use of pellet guns in Kashmir”. Had Lone little bit of pain in his heart for the pellet victims of Kashmir then he won’t have not only persuaded the then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to take up the issue of the withdrawal of pellet guns with the central government but would have also himself tried to prevail upon the central government to ensure replacement of pellet guns by lethal weapons.

In the eyes of Kashmiris the previous Mehbooba led government of which Sajad Lone was a partner is more responsible for pellet horror than erstwhile Omar led NC-Congress coalition government as introducing the pellets was not as horrifying as their use. So better for the likes of Sajad Lone not to try to settle political scores over the use of pellets in Kashmir.

Sajad Lone himself partner of a pellet horror regime has no right to be a critic with the intent of settling political scores over his rivals. In the eyes of Kashmiris the previous Mehbooba led government of which Sajad Lone was a partner is more responsible for pellet horror than erstwhile Omar led NC-Congress coalition government as introducing the pellets was not as horrifying as their use. So better for the likes of Sajad Lone not to try to settle political scores over the use of pellets in Kashmir. The withdrawal of pellets would be an acid test for the next popular government in Jammu & Kashmir.

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