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'Era of Suppression' in J-K Must End to Make PM's Dialogue Process Credible: Mehbooba Mufti

File photo of PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti.

File photo of PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti.

Mehbooba said the Centre should understand that a dissenting voice is not a criminal act.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said on Sunday the dialogue process initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Jammu and Kashmir’s mainstream leadership can gain credibility by ending what she called an “era of oppression and suppression" in the union territory and understanding that a dissenting voice is not a criminal act.

“Give the people right to breathe and rest will follow later," the former chief minister said, as she termed the prime minister’s meeting with a 14-member delegation from J and K here on Thursday as a way forward to end the “sufferings" of people in the erstwhile state now under central rule.

Mehbooba, who was part of the delegation, made it clear that the onus was on the Centre to make the dialogue process credible, and said it should initiate confidence building measures and allow “people to breathe" and also ensure protection of jobs and land for the people.

“When I say allow people to breathe, I mean that today any dissenting note from any side has to cool his or her heels in the prison. Recently, a man was jailed for expressing his sentiments that he had lots of hope from a Kashmiri advisor. The concerned Deputy Commissioner ensured that he was in jail for a few days despite being granted bail by the court," Mehbooba told .

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first published:June 27, 2021, 15:40 IST