Thursday, 15 May 2014

Yasin Malik faces public scrutiny over 'poll boycott for money' allegation

Bashir Assad
SRINAGAR, May 14: The civil society in Kashmir is up in arms against chairman JKLF Yasin Malik after the disclosure made by senior journalist Prem Shankar Jha that the separatist leader enforced the boycott in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections in Kashmir at the behest of the ruling National Conference for money.

Speaking at the seminar organized on Tuesday in Srinagar on 'Kashmir Youth: Anxieties and Aspirations', noted businessman and social activist Shakeel Qalandar asked Yasin Malik to explain his stand on the question raised by Jha. Qalandar, who actually is not a votary of boycott politics, said that it would be the greatest disservice to the people of Kashmir if boycott had been enforced for monetary considerations by the separatist leaders, particularly Yasin Malik.

"We will take Malik to the people's court and he will have to answer whether he has taken money from the National Conference for enforcing the boycott in a bid to give them advantage," Qalandar said at the seminar.

On May 7, Jha had written in his column in an online publication, "And in South Kashmir, they soon concluded that while the boycott was being enforced by cadres of Yasin Malik's Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, the funds for the exercise had come from the National Conference. They came to this conclusion because the JKLF's cadres seemed to be enforcing the boycott mainly in Assembly segments where the PDP was known to be strong, such as Anantnag, Pulwama, Tral, Shopian, Rajpora and Wachi."

Today, Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) issued a statement, saying that the Centre has "decided to hold an 'Awami Adalat' to prove or disprove the allegations, made vis-a-vis the election boycott call given by resistance leaders being motivated by keeping voters away from one mainstream party so that the other mainstream party gets benefited."

The statement referred to Jha's column, which had later appeared in a local news daily on May 12. The KCSDS statement said that "JKLF chairman Yaseen Malik, driven by motivated interests' stands accused of gross impropriety by propagating boycott selectively in constituencies, supposed to be PDP strongholds."

The statement further added: "Subsequently, on May the 13th a statement attributed to Muzafar Hussain Beg appeared in some Valley based newspapers making similar allegations against resistance leaders and cadres, to pave the way for low turnout, so as to benefit NC."

KCSDS has demanded in its press statement: "The accusers and the accused should come forward to clear their position so that the myths whatever involved are demystified and public comes to know the truth. The proposed 'Awami Adalat' is scheduled to be held in third week of May, and for this purpose invitations would be extended to the parties concerned and to a panel of impartial adjudicators. KCSDS is hopeful that the concerned parties will attend the people's court in the public interest."

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