When Chief Minister Omar Abdullah first said that the episode of stone pelting of rescuers was part of a deliberate ploy by anti-social elements, he was thought to be making excuses for people’s anger. But what Hurriyat Conference leader Yasin Malik did on 3 September gives plenty of substance to Abdullah’s charge.
Malik was caught on camera waylaying supplies from a boat that was engaged in relief work. His argument was that he had the first right to carry out relief operations in that area. This is probably an instance of reaching the absolute rock bottom of petty politics. That such an incident should happen in a region that is experiencing so much misery is almost surreal. There is plenty of time for playing politics in the future, but in the middle of a disaster, it’s appalling.