Facing continued public unrest for the 20th day on Thursday, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said she would have given Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani “a chance had she known he was trapped in the encounter”. Ms. Mufti asked New Delhi “to restart the peace process with Pakistan” initiated by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

“Security agencies say they suspected three militants were hiding without knowing who they were. Had I known about him [Wani], I would have given him a second chance in the wake of ongoing economic activity, improving situation and booming tourism,” said Ms. Mufti on the sidelines of Peoples Democratic Party’s 17th foundation day. “(Former Chief Minister) Omar Abdullah knew in advance when (Parliament attack convict) Afzal Guru was hanged and made elaborate security arrangements. We were taken unawares this time. We imposed curfew and that was violated,” said Ms. Mufti, while calling for an end to the use of pellet guns.

Remarks ridiculous: NC

Describing Ms. Mufti’s remarks on Wani as a “theatrical lie”, National Conference provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani alleged she was trying “to deflect responsibility and spread canards”.

“It was ironic and ridiculous that Ms. Mufti termed Wani’s killing a ‘coincidence’, while releasing lakhs of rupees as reward money from the CM’s secret fund.”

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