Former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday visited south Kashmir’s militancy-hit Pulwama district and met a militant’s sister who was allegedly detained by the police for three days this month.
Mufti said that the woman is now bedridden and said that she was “severely beaten” in police custody after she was arrested and harassed in Jammu, where she had gone for some work.
Mufti quoted the militant’s sister as saying that there were no women police constables when she was “arrested, searched and misbehaved with”. She said that woman was allegedly stripped, and her husband and other brother were severely beaten in custody.
Jammu’s inspector general of police, MK Sinha, said the woman was never detained and visited her relatives when they were arrested. He did not specify why the relatives were arrested.
Mufti said the woman was arrested because she is a militant’s sister and was kept in police custody for three days. The visit to Pulwama’s Pettipora and Lassipora villages was Mufti’s first such outreach since losing power. It came a day after four militants were killed in the district.
Over 240 militants have been among around 500 people killed in Kashmir in what has been the bloodiest year in over a decade in the state.
Mufti’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is planning a mass contact programme ahead of the assembly elections following a series of defections from the party. Six lawmakers have quit the PDP since it lost power in June.
The PDP had formed a coalition government with the Bharatiya Janata Party after emerging as the single-largest party with 28 seats in the 87-member Jammu and Kashmir assembly in 2014. The elections in Jammu and Kashmir have to be held within six months after the dissolution of the state assembly on November 21.
Mufti’s alliance with the BJP has eroded her base after she sought votes in 2014 to keep it out.