Majid Kapra

Youth joining militant ranks in Kishtwar alarming: Omar

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Srinagar, Jul 11: Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said the reports of youth joining militant ranks in Kishtwar district is an alarming trend and could prove detrimental for the state.

Talking to reporters on his grandmother’s 18th death anniversary at her graveyard in Hazratbal, National Conference vice-president expressed serious concern over “eight youth joining militant ranks” recently in Kishtwar district.

“I came to know in Jammu that eight youth who had gone missing in Kishtwar have joined militant ranks. Revival of militancy in Kishtwar will prove detrimental for the state,” said the former CM.

On civilian killings in south Kashmir, he said peace is impossible in Kashmir until civilian killings during protests and clashes stop.

Omar appealed Governor NN Vohra to take some firm steps in this direction and prepare Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to ensure that there is no civilian casualty.

“We have time and again requested to the previous government and now the Governor to take some firm steps and prepare an SOP so that civilian killings are stopped during protests and clashes,” he said, adding ground situation is before you, militant attacks and civilian killings continue in Kashmir.

He asserted people had hoped that situation will get better on ground once Governor’s rule is imposed in the state, but given continuous civilian killings in south Kashmir, the hope is receding.

Replying to a query on Center’s direction to the state to initiate inquiry against IAS topper, Shah Faesal, he said the ministers who garland murderers don’t face any inquiry while questions are raised on honesty and integrity of those who raise genuine issues.

“Isn’t ministers garlanding murderers wrong? Why isn’t action taken against them. Officers and bureaucrats in other states whose aim is to create communal disharmony continue to spew venom through their hate posts and tweets, why isn’t inquiry initiated against them?” Omar asked.

“Shah Faesal raised his voice against rape and you didn’t only initiate inquiry against him but also raised question on his integrity and honesty. No one had so far raised fingers on his honesty ever since he joined as an officer in the state government. You may have objections with his tweet but raising question on his honesty is injustice with him,” he claimed.

Replying to a pointed query regarding “illegal construction” of a hotel in the bosom of the River Jhelum, he said Governor has initiated inquiry into the matter.

“We have time and again raised this issue and will continue to do so, inquiry into 400 crore de-silting issue has been initiated but we have demanded inquiry be also initiated against construction of hotels on river banks and flood spill channels as well,” Omar added.

Says PDP-BJP alliance pushed J&K into turmoil

Srinagar, Jul 11: Reiterating his party’s demand for dissolution of the J&K Legislative Assembly, National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday blamed the PDP-BJP alliance for renewed turmoil and uncertainty in the state.

Chairing the National Conference Legislative Party meeting here, Omar Abdullah said the PDP-BJP alliance had left the state brutalized and stoked unprecedented alienation, especially among the youth.

“The PDP-BJP alliance has pushed JK into the throes of turmoil and uncertainty and the rank opportunism that formed the basis of their politics has not only alienated the people but also created chasms between the three regions of the state. We have witnessed rampant persecution, injustices and widespread corruption while this alliance was at the helm of power,” the NC vice-president said.

“The shamelessness and lack of perspective is evidenced by the how Mehbooba Mufti, in a scripted TV interview to a private channel from Delhi, had all the time to remember the imaginary failures of her predecessors but had no words of sympathy for the people of the state, and failed to acknowledge how much her government and that of Late Mufti Sahab brutalized and persecuted the people over the past more than three years,” Omar Abdullah said.

According to a party press release, he said Mehbooba Mufti owes the people of J&K an apology and this apology needs to be delivered without hiding behind smokescreens and  the victim-hood of being removed from power.

“The people of J&K are the only victims here and Mehbooba Mufti owes them an unconditional apology,” Omar said.

He said Mehbooba Mufti’s “arrogance” had driven her own leaders away and this was another indication of her contempt towards the mandate of 2014 and also her refusal to respect the sentiments of the people at large.

“Mehbooba-ji has lost the faith of her own leaders due to her arrogance and flawed policies. It was none other than her own brother and former Tourism minister who said PDP and BJP were ‘partners in crime’.

“In order to become the Chief Minister and to enjoy the spoils of power, Mehbooba Mufti ended up bartering the interests of the state to the highest bidders while ridiculously reserving the right to criticize her own alliance partner simultaneously,” Omar said.

“This policy of running with the hare while hunting with the hound has no takers and the people of the state have realized the scale and extent of PDP’s deceit and betrayal,” he added.

Reiterating the demand for the dissolution of the J&L Legislative Assembly, the NC vice-president said the party believes this was a necessary requirement to end the ongoing phase of uncertainty and speculations that are adding to the sense of cynicism among the people.

“We have and will continue to demand for the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly. The situation in the state at present is not conducive for the conduct of elections and the Governor’s administration should take all possible steps to restore normalcy and a sense of security in the people before a democratic exercise can take place,” he said.

The continued loss of precious lives is unacceptable and a matter of grave concern and all possible steps should be taken to prevent any further loss of lives, he said and added that the youth of the state “are being pushed further away due to the failure to prevent civilian killings and this remains a matter of concern and alarm.”

“From seeking votes to stop the BJP from coming to power to embracing the BJP to become the chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti has betrayed her own promises and is responsible for the atmosphere of hopelessness and cynicism that has engulfed our youth and is pushing them away from the mainstream,” Omar said.

“She (Mehbooba Mufti) surrendered the state’s powers to New Delhi in order to remain in power and the consequences of these surrenders are irrevocable and have disempowered J&K,” Omar added.

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