Aam Aadmi Party’s Kapil Mishra had at a recent function in Delhi accosted Ms Mufti with the question, “Do you believe Burhan Wani was a terrorist,” referring to the 22-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist killed by security forces in Kashmir earlier this year.
“You cannot put people to a daily patriotism test. You can’t ask them to prove their patriotism every day. They are responsible people holding responsible positions,” said Mr Madhav, who is in charge of managing his BJP’s alliance with Ms Mufti’s Peoples Democratic Party or PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.
Ms Mufti, he said, was confronted with such questions regularly for some time now and she had handled “such situations with great maturity and she has been consistent. She is very clear in her head about such issues. She has no ambiguities about the issue”.
As chief Minister, Ram Madhav said, Mehbooba Mufti had to take care of not only Kashmir’s law and order situation, but also “the sentiments of six lakh people.”
Wani’s death in July triggered violent protests in Kashmir. Over 90 people have been killed and over 10,000 injured in clashes between protesters and security forces.
Ms Mufti has drawn criticism for saying that Burhan Wani would “have been given a chance” had security forces been aware of his identity.
At the Delhi function, Kapil Mishra, who is tourism minister, had refused to share stage with Ms Mufti, saying, “We can fight Pakistan, but how do we fight with people who give shelter to terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.”
Ms Mufti, who has been accused by opposition parties like Omar Abdullah’s National Conference of mishandling the Kashmir unrest, got a vote of confidence from Ram Madhav. The Jammu and Kashmir chief minister is “doing a good job,” he said.