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J&K People Fought Against Stone Throwing, Gun Culture:Aga Ruhullah

New Delhi, July 8: Srinagar Member of Parliament Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi stated that the Kashmir Valley has experienced significant turbulence, particularly noting three summers of intense stone pelting in 2008, 2010, and 2016. He emphasized that for almost 72 years, such violent activities were absent in the region.

Mr. Mehdi highlighted the enduring struggle of the people against gun culture and militancy, mentioning that they have resisted these issues with their “own blood.” He spoke passionately about the resilience of Kashmiris in an interview with The Hindu.

The MP remarked that the high voter turnout during the Lok Sabha elections was a strong message against the abrogation of Article 370 and the detainment of numerous youths by the BJP-led central government. He expressed confidence that the upcoming Assembly elections would see even greater participation, signifying the people’s rejection of the government’s decisions concerning J&K.

Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi also prioritized the release of hundreds of men detained in various states without trial. He criticized the challenges faced by their families in meeting them and promised to present a list of these youth in Parliament, advocating for their release.

When questioned about the reduction in violence and stone pelting since August 2019, Mr. Mehdi countered the government’s narrative. He argued that, excluding the three years of intense unrest, the region had largely been peaceful for over seven decades. He attributed true peace to a sense of empowerment among the people, which he claimed was lacking under the current regime.

Mr. Mehdi also referred to the 2011-12 panchayat elections, which saw over 80% voter turnout, following the rise in stone-pelting incidents in previous years. He used this example to illustrate the people’s commitment to democracy and peace when given the opportunity.

In his inaugural speech in the Lok Sabha, Mr. Mehdi urged the Speaker to prevent members from labeling Muslim MPs as “terrorists.” His remarks received support from several members of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance bloc, including Mahua Moitra and Chandrashekhar Azad.

Lastly, Mr. Mehdi expressed his intent to ensure the rights of all minorities and reiterated his apology to the Kashmiri Pandits. He condemned the BJP’s handling of their situation, advocating for their dignified return to their original homes. He underscored the need for genuine efforts to address their plight rather than using their circumstances for political gain.

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