Accusations, counter-accusations as Omar, Mehbooba engage in war of words on twitter

Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah Thursday engaged in a ‘Twitter war’ with both sides accusing each other of taking political advantage of militancy in the state.

Mehbooba Thursday said Governor Satya Pal Malik should issue directions to security forces not to harass the families of terrorists while fighting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Our police is a disciplined force. The Governor should issue clear-cut directions that families of militants should not be harassed,” she told reporters after visiting the family of a slain militant in Shopian district of south Kashmir. It was her second such visit in a week.

Omar was quick to react to the visit by saying the PDP leader was “trying to rehabilitate a badly damaged reputation”.

“The architect of ‘Operation All-out’ & the overseer of the operations that killed hundreds of militants since 2015 is now going from one militant home to the next trying to rehabilitate a badly damaged reputation,” he wrote on Twitter.

“She used militants by sanctioning their deaths to appease the BJP and now she uses dead militants to try to appease the voter. Just how gullible does she think people are?” he said.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) responded to Omar’s jibe by reminding him of the bloodshed at the hands of counter-insurgent group Ikhwan during the National Conference government from 1996 to 2002.

“PDP believes in outreach with its own people whatever the circumstances be.  @jkpdp would like to know if you are offended with @MehboobaMufti outreach or just it is typical NC politics to bleed innocents to death by way of Ikwanis,” it tweeted.

Omar, the National Conference vice president, hit back, saying if the PDP could live with hypocrisy, he would not be offended. “Boss if you can live with the hypocrisy of your actions who am I to be offended. I suppose the ‘woh kya doodh ya toffee laney gayey they’ was part of this famed ‘outreach’,” he said.

Mehbooba also took to Twitter, saying her visiting the families of slain militants should not bother Omar.

“@OmarAbdullah My visiting these helpless families shouldn’t trouble you, rather we all should try to reach out to them as they can not be left at the mercy of others,” she said.

BJP, the former ally of PDP, also dismissed Mehbooba’s visits as a “political gimmick” and reminded her of the remarks she made as chief minister during a press conference at the peak of 2016 agitation following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani and his two associates.

“It was Mehbooba who earlier made a statement like were they (youth who were killed in 2016 agitation) out to buy toffee or milk. Her visits now to the families of slain militants is a political gimmick,” BJP leader Ashok Koul said.

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