Kashmir’s social structure being destructed systematically: Mehbooba

Mehbooba Mufti visits CET centres in Srinagar

Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti today visited various examination centres in Srinagar where the Common Entrance Test (CET) was conducted by the Jammu and Kashmir Board of Professional Entrance Examinations (BOPEE).

The Chief Minister visited the examination Centres  at Women’s College, M A Road, Amar Singh College, Girls Higher Secondary School Rajbagh and Burn Hall School.

The Chief Minister was informed that out of 17939 students, 16315 appeared in the CET at the designated examination centres in Srinagar and Jammu.

In Kashmir province, out of 11881 candidates 10803 appeared in CET while in Jammu province, out of 6056 students, 5512 appeared in the test.

Expressing satisfaction over the arrangements made by the respective District Development Commissioners, BOPEE and the Education Department for facilitating the students to appear in the test, the Chief Minister said that despite facing various hardships because of the prevailing law and order situation, the government machinery ensured almost 91% presence of students in CET. She said the government machinery played a commendable role in facilitating the presence of a large number of students in NEET conducted last week. She also hailed the commitment of the parents, who helped their wards to make it to the examination centres.

Calling for introspection, the Chief Minister said that the people have to ponder over how the educational, economic and social structure of Kashmir is being systematically ruined because of the prevailing situation. “Our enterprising young boys and girls are not able to apply for KAS examination, they are not able to avail of the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme, the educational and training institutions are shut, the tourism sector has taken a big hit, the development process has come to a standstill and the socio-economic condition of the people is deteriorating day by day because of the prevailing law and order situation,” she said and added there are instances in the history where various nations and communities including the Palestinians didn’t allow the education of their children to suffer amid conflicts and wars. “Ironically, in contrast, the first casualty of unrest in Kashmir has always been the education and the economy,” she said.

Ms Mehbooba said instead of asking the Kashmiri youth to focus on education, they are being incited to take stones in their hands and attack whosoever comes their way. “A 70-year old poor street vendor who moves out of his home in the morning to earn the bread and butter for his starving family is being slapped by a 10-year old boy, young girls are being threatened that they will be torched alive alongwith their scooties if they move out of their home, people wearing decent clothes are being intimidated, respectable citizens are being humiliated and unsuspecting travelers are being pillaged in the name of protests,” the Chief Minister said and added that such hideous activities are not only unacceptable but unbecoming of a civilized society.

Ms Mehbooba said many forces have joined hands to vitiate the atmosphere and send innocent children to various localities to create trouble. “Those who have other ideology should also feel the pain of the younger generation getting affected. What do they want to achieve by this (violence)?” she asked.

Reiterating that the issues can be resolved only through dialogue and not through violence, the Chief Minister said violence has been rejected globally as a means to achieve political objectives. “The proponents of violent protests in Kashmir must also engage in dialogue to resolve the issues instead of perpetuating violence which has only brought death and destruction on their own people,” she said and added that Kashmir has already lost a generation of youth to the violence and can’t afford to bear with this tragic human loss for ever. She said everyone should “feel the pain” of the future generation.

She said there was an “issue in the minds” of the people and it needs to be addressed. “Mufti Mohammad Sayeed used to say bullets and grenades cannot solve issues. Gun has not changed anything. There is no way out other than dialogue,” she said and added that while the security forces have been able to contain the situation but there was an issue in the minds of the people which needs to be addressed. “We brought in security forces and they contained the situation. But there is an issue which is in the minds. It has to be addressed,” she added.