Separatists use children to fuel violence in Kashmir: Mehbooba Mufti

Lambasting separatist leaders, she said they were “exploiting” children in the Valley only after having made sure that their own children studied outside. She, however, hoped the situation would get back to normal

A day after Home Minister Rajnath Singh hit out at separatists for rejecting talks with the all-party delegation, J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday accused leaders of separatist camp of instigating children to engage in violence while making sure their own children studied abroad or outside the state.

Addressing a gathering, Mufti said: “My colleagues have this (fear) that I may say something. But, I have always spoken the truth. The way a mother slaps her child when he tries to touch a hot kangri (firepot), I will do the same to save my people.”

“I will be angry, I will speak truth and warn them not to use children as a shield (during street protests),” the CM said.

She expressed that majority of the people want an honourable solution to the Kashmir issue. “Nobody wants violence except for those who don’t have to face impact of this violence as their own children are studying outside the Valley.

“They ask the children to fight bullets, pellets and teargas, but themselves fear a policeman,” she alleged.

Lambasting separatist leaders, she said they were “exploiting” children in the Valley only after having made sure that their own children studied outside. She, however, hoped the situation would get back to normal.

“Time will not remain like this always, but wounds will be there on the hearts of the children which these people have inflicted. Today, people will find my words bitter, but they will later understand what I said because I saw many people roaming the streets at night provoking children to join the protests.

“God is witness, that their (the separatists’) own children study in Malaysia, Dubai, Bangalore and Rajasthan. If a single child of these people has been injured in the protests in these days, I am ready to quit politics,” she said at the function organised to distribute LED bulbs under the Centre’s ‘UJALA’ scheme.

She said if the separatists have the courage they should sleep in their homes instead of roaming around exploiting the children.

“If you (separatists) have courage, then sleep in your homes and not roam around from one home to another asking children to take out protests rallies. You fear my policeman, but tell these children, my children, our children, who should have been in schools, to take out protests in other places and do something so that there is a reaction (from the security forces).

“How will I tolerate this? I have been saying this that there are mostly those children who used to be at my rallies when they were kids when no one was with me,” she said.