Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday criticised the Centre for terminating the services of 11 government employees in Jammu and Kashmir, ANI reported. On Saturday, the Union Territory’s administration dismissed the employees, including the sons of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, for allegedly providing information to terrorists.

Mufti, however, claimed that the government has sacked 20-25 employees this year. “I am not supporting anyone [but] you cannot hold a child responsible for actions of his father unless and until you have proof,” she said, according to ANI.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister accused the government of “witch hunting and criminalisation of dissent”. She advocated for the approach that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee took to deal with Jammu and Kashmir. “I have said this again and again, you can capture a man but not an idea,” she said. “You have to address the idea, as Vajpayee ji did.”

On Sunday, Mufti accused the government of taking policy decisions with the “sole objective of punishing Kashmiris”.

“GOI [Government of India] continues disempowering people of J&K in garb of pseudo nationalism by trampling the constitution that ought to be upheld,” she tweeted. “Abrupt dismissal of 11 government employees on flimsy grounds is criminal.”

Speaking to ANI on Monday, Mufti also criticised the Centre’s economic policies for Jammu and Kashmir and said unemployment and inflation was rise in the Union Territory.

“Earlier, they used to say that Jammu and Kashmir is backward, but we were ahead on several indices,” Mufti said. “But if their onslaught over economy continues, our situation will become worse than Gujarat as far as poverty is concerned.”

Speaking on the abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti said said the Centre’s motive was to loot the people of the Union Territory. She said the government was appointing people from other states to top position at the Chenab Valley Power Projects, resulting in a drain of electricity and power supply from Jammu and Kashmir.

The Centre had abrogated Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5, 2019, and split it into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Curfews and internet blockades were imposed in the region after that.