Condemning the ink-attack on Independent Jammu and Kashmir MLA Engineer Rashid, former chief minister and National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah on Monday said people who love the country have been let down by the incident.
“Engineer Rashid was doing nothing wrong. He just wanted to express his point of view before the people. If you choke the voice of the people and say that we want to create a beautiful India, then they are not making India beautiful, but tarnishing its image,” he said.
“They think that nobody else has the right to live in the country without them. I warn them that this country belongs to every Indian, and the day they start thinking that the country belongs to them, they must be ready to see India’s splitting,” he said.
“We are becoming ‘junglee’ (uncultured); we have set the humanity aside; and are trying to run the nation by hooliganism. It is not acceptable. The Constitution of India gives equal rights to all. It gives every person the right to speak,” Abdullah added.
Describing the attack as “unfortunate and painful”, because everyone was still mourning the death of young Zahid (trucker) “whom we have lost to the hate politics,” Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief spokesperson Mehboob Baig said this kind of politics was unacceptable and did not augur well for the image of the country, both globally and nationally.
When told that Engineer Rashid had said that Kashmiri people were not safe and that this was not Gandhi’s India, but Modi’s India, Baig said: “Not only this, but what had happened in Dadri was painful too. We have become intolerant, and that’s not the way to go about it. We have to be tolerant of each other. Whether we agree or disagree, we have to accept each other, because we have to co-exist. Hate politics from any side is condemnable in the strongest possible words.”
Accusing Engineer Rashid of spreading havoc and trying to create a communal divide with the support of some “foreign agencies”, Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) leader Bhim Singh said he didn’t think that it was a “big event”.
“Engineer Rashid has provoked the communal sentiments of the people and was condemning the nation. Had he come to the national capital to preach sermons to the people,” asked Singh.
“It was not an attack; it was an expression of the people, of their minds. It was an expression of the national Indian youth that we mean business. Anybody living in this country, will have to respect the Indian flag, the Constitution and national discipline and the laws,” he added.