SRINAGAR: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded the arrest of former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti after she said she won't hold any other flag unless and until Jammu and Kashmir's state flag is restored.
The Congress also criticised her for showing disrespect to the national flag. She has been trolled widely also on social media platforms for her remarks.
On Friday, Mehbooba, while addressing her maiden press conference after her release from a 14-month-long detention, said she won't raise any flag other than that of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir till its special status is restored.
“I won’t hold any other flag until our state flag is returned”, she said when asked about her statement that there would be no one left in J-K to raise the Indian national flag if Article 370 was abrogated that she gave days before the erstwhile state was stripped of its special status and split up into two Union Territories on August 5 last year.
Narinder Raina, president of BJP's J-K unit termed Mufti's remarks as "seditious" and said she should be booked for the same and arrested immediately. Asserted that "no power on earth can either hoist the state flag again or restore Article 370", he told reporters in winter capital Jammu, "I request Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to take cognisance of the seditious remarks of Mehbooba Mufti, book her for the seditious act and put her behind bars."
Raina pledged to "shed every drop of our blood for our flag, country and motherland" and said that J-K is an integral part of the country and, therefore, only one flag can be hoisted here and that is the national flag. He further said that the BJP will "not tolerate such nefarious designs aimed at instigating the people of Kashmir."
The BJP leader said that if Kashmiri leaders are feeling insecure in India, they can go to Pakistan and China. A group of BJP activists held a protest demonstration against the PDP chief in frontier district of Kupwara.
The J-K Pradesh Congress also criticised Mufti over her remarks and said these were highly provocative and irresponsible and have hurt the sentiments of the people and hence are condemned. “Such statements are intolerable and unacceptable in any society,” JKPCC chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said.
He asserted that the tricolor is the symbol of “honour for the country and reminds of the sacrifices of crores of Indians to achieve freedom and to protect the dignity, honour and the territorial integrity of the country”. He added the statements like the one made by the PDP chief will defeat the democratic and constitutional struggle for achieving any just right and urged her to desist from such utterances.
Mufti was also trolled widely on social media. But defending herself, she tweeted on Saturday that the tricolour "stands for diversity and peaceful coexistence amongst all. If anyone has insulted the tiranga it is BJP that persecutes minorities and sows division and hatred." She added that the national flag was "disrespected the day BJP leaders carried it (at a rally) to justify rapists of a 9-year-old (nomadic girl in J-K's Kathua district). Spare me the lessons".