Controversial Kashmiri activist Shehla Rashid on Wednesday (9 October) decided to quit “mainstream politics” in Jammu and Kashmir six months after joining former IAS officer Shah Faesal’s party ‘Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement’, reported India Today.
She blamed central government’s move to hold Block Development Councils elections in J&K for prompting her decision.
Rashid, who keeps stirring controversies with her remarks every now and then, said the BDC polls were a “sham electoral exercise” which the government was conducting to “convince the world that it [India] is still a democracy”.
Adding that she "cannot be party to the exercise of legitimising the brutal suppression of my people", Shehla Rashid announced, "I would, therefore, like to make clear my dissociation with the electoral mainstream in Kashmir."
I'd like to make clear my dissociation with the electoral mainstream in Kashmir. Participation in the electoral process in a situation where even the election rhetoric is to be dictated by the centre will only amount to legitimising the actions of the Indian govt in #Kashmir pic.twitter.com/7PMi2aIZdw— Shehla Rashid شہلا رشید (@Shehla_Rashid) October 9, 2019
In a long statement on social media, the former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students’ union vice-president said that she joined politics believing it was “possible to deliver both justice as well as good governance, and also work for the resolution of the Kashmir issue as per the wishes of the people of Jammu & Kashmir”.
However, she made it clear that she would continue to work as an activist in the valley.
“I will continue to be an activist and raise my voice against injustice on all fronts that do not require a compromise, and I will continue to put my energies behind the Supreme Court petition seeking the restoration of special status of the state, and the reversal of bifurcation of the state,” Rashid added.
In her statement, she also reiterated her allegations that the Indian government was involved in the abduction of children in the valley.
It is worth remembering that she has been booked by the Delhi police for similar allegations of hers in August. She, in a controversial statement, had accused the Indian Army of abducting people from their houses in J&K and torturing them in the name of interrogation.
In a series of tweets in August, Rashid had said, “People are saying that Jammu and Kashmir Police has no authority on law and order situation. They have been rendered powerless. Everything is in the hands of paramilitary forces. One SHO was transferred on complaint of a CRPF man. SHOs carrying batons. Service revolvers cannot be seen on them.”
Rashid claimed that Armed forces were entering houses at night and ransacking them. She also claimed that four men were called and “interrogated (tortured)“ in the Army camp in Shopian.
The Indian Army, however, rejected the allegations levelled by Rashid and termed them baseless.
"Allegations levelled by Shehla Rashid are baseless and rejected. Such unverified and fake news are spread by inimical elements and organisations to incite unsuspecting population," the Army stated, as reported by ANI.