Hugs, tears and a few words of sympathy for a sobbing Kashmiri mother who almost fainted as she remembered her dead son while sharing her pain, marked Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s visit to this border district on Saturday to meet families left grieving by the latest spurt in violence.
Mehbooba Mufti broke down as she heard the wails of the wan-looking pheran and hijab-clad Kupwara mother. The Chief Minister pulled her across and hugged her.
The meeting with affected families of Kupwara district, some 100 km from Srinagar, was held amid an ongoing curfew and heightened security restrictions imposed following the outbreak of one of the deadliest cycles of violence in the Kashmir Valley after the July 8 killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani.
Mehbooba Mufti, herself a single parent of two daughters, said she was “deeply grieved and anguished” over the loss of lives and injuries in the unrest that has left some 45 people dead and thousands injured in clashes with security forces.
She said most victims of the violence were the “poorest of the poor” and that “pained” her a lot
She met the families at the state-owned Dak Bungalow of Kupwara, and assured “all possible support to them”.
“Violence has only brought destruction to our state and left behind a trail of tragedies in the shape of hundreds of orphans, destitute and widows who are living a miserable life because of the lack of any institutionalised support,” Mehbooba Mufti said after the meeting.
She lashed out at elements “glorifying these killings and playing politics over the graves of these poor youth”.
They, she said, “never bother to look back at the plight of the victim families once things settle down”.
Without naming anyone, she said she was aware that many “internal and external forces gang up to destabilize Kashmir once there is some semblance of normalcy”.
“Whenever the economic activity starts picking up in Kashmir with the encouraging increase in tourist arrivals as had happened this year, several quarters with vested interest in Kashmir turmoil seem to have ganged up to orchestrate another spate of deadly violence and push the people towards further economic deprivation,” she said.