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Omar, Mehbooba urge HM to ensure safety of Kashmiris in other states

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Srinagar, Feb 15: Asserting that Kashmiri people living in other states could be soft targets in a surcharged atmosphere, former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti Friday asked Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to direct all state governments to ensure their safety.

"My earnest appeal to @rajnathsingh ji to please issue directions to all state governments to take special care in areas/colleges/institutions where Kashmiris are residing/studying. They are soft targets in a surcharged atmosphere," Abdullah tweeted.

He also asked people to unite against terror and maintain peace.

"Kashmiris/Muslims in Jammu didn't attack our CRPF jawans yesterday (Thursday), terrorists did. This violence is a convenient tool by some to shift the blame. Let's unite against terror, let's not allow terror to divide us," Abdullah said.

His remarks came after curfew was imposed in Jammu as a precautionary measure following massive protests and incidents of violence over the militant attack in Kashmir's Pulwama on Thursday that killed 49 CRPF personnel.

"Giving vent to anger by attacking innocent people because of their ethnicity or religion is no way to honour the sacrifices yesterday. Reports of violence & arson in Jammu are deeply worrying. I hope political leaders & civil society are able to ensure cooler heads prevail," Abdullah, who is also the National Conference vice president, said.

He said if the attention of government forces and the administration is shifted to dealing with "communal violence" in Jammu instead of investigating the attack and preventing further such attacks "who are we helping with the arson & violence?"

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti also urged the Home Minister Rajnath Singh to take requisite measures so that minorities and especially Kashmiris outside Valley aren’t intimidated or harassed by miscreants.

In a statement here, Mehbooba stated that while every person from Kashmir to Kanyakumari is grieved over the gruesome attack on CRPF personnel in Pulwama, there are certain elements in the country which are waiting in wings to politicize the situation and vitiate atmosphere of peace and communal harmony.

Mehbooba urged Singh to take all necessary measures so that the vested interests trying to fish in the troubled waters aren’t allowed to succeed in there hideous agendas.

She also expressed concern over the volatile situation that has emerged in few areas of Jammu which are dominated by the minorities, saying the miscreants in Jammu were trying to take advantage of the situation by inciting tension.

"Distressed to hear about miscreants in Jammu trying to take advantage of the situation by inciting tension. Guv (Governor) adm (administration) should have preempted this by securing minority dominated areas. Have spoken to IG (inspector general of police) Jammu to deploy additional security," Mehbooba wrote on Twitter.

She said the need of the hour is to show compassion and come together.

"It will be a travesty & against the spirit of our secular ethno-cultural values to use this terror attack as an excuse to target minorities. Hour of the need is to show compassion & come together (sic)," she said.

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