JEHANGIR ALI | 8 JANUARY, 2019
‘Toffee and Milk’ Becomes a ‘Glass of Poison’ for Mehbooba Mufti
Former CM apologises
SRINAGAR: Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s apology on Monday for making the controversial ‘toffee and milk’ remark at the peak of 2016 uprising failed to evoke any sympathy with netizens mocking her for “changing colours like a chameleon’.
“What we are going to do with your apology and concern? Will that bring our hundreds of youth back? With that give the youth their eyesight back? Will Insha be able to see again? Big No! So stop the drama,” Suhail Khan, a management graduate said on Facebook.
Flanked by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Srinagar, Mehbooba Mufti had apparently lost cool in a press conference in September 2016 during which she accused the protesters of putting themselves in the line of fire.
“Did a 14-year-old go to buy toffee when he attacked police station in Damhal Hanjipora? Did he went there to purchase milk,” Mehbooba had said at a time when close to hundred protesters were shot dead by forces in retaliatory action to prevent any protests. The controversial remark had not gone down well with people in Kashmir.
“I was behaving like a mother would in such situation. They (protesters) attended my elections rallies but now they were being pushed to get killed. It was painful for me and therefore, as a mother, I used such words to express my pain,” she said on Monday at a rally in Bijbehara to commemorate the third death anniversary of her father and PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
“Doesn’t a mother use harsh words for her children,” she asked. “However, in case my remarks have hurt the sentiments of people, then I apologise.”
Her apology, however, failed to cut the ice with the people in Kashmir who hold her responsible for the mess that the state has become since her party formed the ‘unholy’ alliance with the BJP. The alliance met a sudden death last year when the Hindu rightwing party pulled out, putting Mehbooba on the back-foot.
“Mehbooba Mufti, no lorry to carry your sorry,” Mehmood-ul-Hassan posted on Facebook.
Lone Muzaffar, a Twitter user went on to post a chargesheet against the PDP. “1130 darkest days of PDP rule. Civilian Killings: 235. Civilians injured: 31015. Eye injuries: 3723. Civilians blinded: 1025. Arrests: 23690. Still in jail: 3000. PSA: 1178. Houses ransacked: 91678.”
The Citizen could not immediately verify these details.
“The only power vested in them is the power to kill, to hurt and to jail us and that is what they all do. They fear being powerless and frivolous. They kill to stay in power,” Ahmad Bin Qasim, son of jailed separatist Qasim Faktoo, wrote on Twitter while referring to Mehbooba Mufti.
Meanwhile, confirming what was long rumoured to be the case, the PDP chief said that after the demise of her father, when the state was pushed under political uncertainty and she was demanding ‘confidence building measures from the BJP-led Centre, a section of her party leaders went to Nagpur where they offered to form the government with the BJP by splitting the PDP.
“I asked the Centre to announce some confidence building measures prior to restitching the alliance which included return of power project, vacation of troopers from Tattu ground, Anantnag high ground and Kargil ground. BJP was about to agree but some leaders from our party went to Nagpur and asked the BJP to sideline Mehbooba and that they will go for the new alliance.”
“My position was compromised,” she said. She further added that restitching the alliance with BJP was “like drinking a glass of poison”.
“I invite the educated youth who are interested in resolution of Kashmir issue to come and join us. I appeal the youth to join PDP. All the garbage in the party is gone with the wind,” she said, referring to the MLAs who recently resigned from the party.