The Jammu & Kashmir government recently came out with a poster of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign featuring pictures of 12 women achievers. But one of the women featured is Asiya Andrabi, a Kashmiri separatist leader currently in jail on terror charges.
Andrabi shared the space on the poster with prominent personalities such as Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, state’s minister for health and social welfare Asiya Naqash, celebrated tennis player Sania Mirza, astronaut Kalpana Chawla, Nobel laureate Mother Teresa, legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar and 5 others.
Andrabi is the chief of ‘Dukhtaran-e-Millat’ (daughters of the nation), a pro-Pakistan organization. Currently in prison under Public Safety Act for her separatist exercises, Andrabi has several cases against her including those under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and hoisting Pakistani national flag on several occasions.
The poster was displayed at an event organized in south Kashmir’s Kokernag town to promote girls’ education and was attended by lawmakers, ministers and top officials of the state. The event was to highlight the women achievers of the country.
Thus the photo of the separatist leader has become a source of great embarrassment for the PDP-BJP alliance in the state. There has, however, been no official statement from any government official in the matter so far, despite it being castigated and mocked at on social media and otherwise.
Here are tweets by some influential people criticizing the blunder by the Jammu & Kashmir government:
Massive blunder by J&K Govt. Radical separatist Asiya Andrabi shown as an icon for Govt sponsored ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign today. pic.twitter.com/iaxwLYilDG
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) October 11, 2017
— Maj Surendra Poonia (@MajorPoonia) October 12, 2017
Is BJP so desperate that it has to use people who shared stage with Mumbai terror attack mastermind, Hafiz Saeed?https://t.co/82k7LisTKv
— TS Singh Deo (@TS_SinghDeo) October 12, 2017
Some local officer’s favourite people.Had this happened when I was CM I would’ve been hauled over the coals by the nation wanting to know 🙂 https://t.co/uXBOR4J1w1
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) October 11, 2017
Meanwhile, an unsigned order for the suspension of local Chief Development Project Officer Shameema Akhter pending an inquiry by the Anantnag district chief is doing the rounds in the media, reports NDTV. According to the order, the sub-divisional magistrate of Kokernag would investigate the “mishandling of the function regarding ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ celebrated today”.
India Today, on the other hand, reports that Shameema Akhter has been suspended with immediate effect in the matter. Abdul Raheem Rather, PDP MLA from Kokernag and one of the organizers of the event, said that Andrabi’s picture was included mistakenly.