‘Security situation has deteriorated post Aug 5, 2019’
BHADERWAH, Dec 1: Reiterating that National Conference was committed to restore special status of J&K, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today accused BJP of misleading the country by false propaganda to justify its action of August 5, 2019 and alleged that the situation in Kashmir valley was grim not because of Pakistan or some other country but growing insurgency due to joining of local disgruntled youth into the ranks of militants.
“The security situation has deteriorated to such an extent that one cannot feel safe in any part of Kashmir owing to growing militancy which was evident from the selective killings including that of Kashmiri Pandits in the recent past,” he said, while addressing at a public meeting, here today on the penultimate day of his week-long tour of erstwhile Doda district.
The NC Vice-President alleged that all the BJP claims on revocation of Article 370 have fallen flat as there was no benefit of its decision on the ground. “They talked about development, investment, jobs, peace and end to militancy and separatism but none of this happened over the past nearly two and a half years,” he said.
“Militancy has not gone as claimed by the Government after August 2019. They (BJP) claimed that Article 370 was the obstacle in the return of Kashmiri migrant Pandits. Over two years have passed now, but none of the Pandits returned to their homes,” Abdullah said, adding selective killings including that of pharmacy owner M L Bindroo, who did not leave even during the peak of militancy, in October exposed the Government claims.
“Far from bringing peace and development to the region, the days and months that followed the unilateral and unconstitutional decisions of August 5, 2019 saw the return of targeted killings, return of bunkers, political instability, insecurity and escalation of violence. Today forces are being stationed in marriage halls, forces imprint has increased on ground. Pockets, which were declared militancy free are again witnessing a rise in militancy related incidents. In our times nearly 40 bunkers were removed in Srinagar. Today Srinagar presents a garrison-like look,” he said.
Admitting that revocation of Article 370 was in BJP’s manifesto, the NC leader said that there was no logic behind withdrawal of Statehood and division of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir.
“I accept that the revocation of Article 370 was in the manifesto of the BJP but why was the erstwhile State downgraded and divided into two parts which was not in their manifesto. One fails to understand what was the reason for this. No one had any answer to it as well as what benefit it had to the people of J&K,” Omar Abdullah said, adding that the demand for Union Territory status was only from Buddhists of Leh district, while the Kargil population wanted to be with Jammu & Kashmir.
Without naming Ghulam Nabi Azad, Omar Abdullah also criticized the Congress leader for allegedly playing double standard game on Article 370 and said that only National Conference’s stand on the issue was clear as the party was committed to get the Special Status back and fight for the same till last breath.
“We are fighting for exclusive rights of our youth on jobs, we are fighting for our land rights, we are struggling for restoration of democracy, we are fighting for the future of our children and the forthcoming generations. There is no question of pulling out from this struggle. Our means are peaceful, democratic, and constitutional,” he said.
The former Chief Minister alleged that systematic efforts were being made to divide the people of erstwhile Doda on the basis of region and religion. “The massive infrastructure development in Bhaderwah during our tenure unnerved such force. It is our disunity that helped these anti-J&K force to realize their goals. What happened is before us. The State stand bifurcated, downgraded and shorn of its special Constitutional status,” he said.
Expressing disappointment over the step-motherly treatment being meted out to regions in erstwhile Doda district by the incumbent administration, Omar Abdullah announced that as and when the Central rule ends, the NC will strive for a divisional status to entire Chenab region.
Referring to picturesque Bhaderwah, Omar asked the Lt Governor administration to focus on the development of the region till the formation of a popular Government. He also promised justice with the people of Bhaderwah and said the aim of his visit to Chenab valley along with other senior party leaders was to strengthen the party where it is weak.
“We have not done justice with Bhaderwah and took several decisions in the past which led to the fall of the party. We left the Assembly seat to Congress in 1987 and again to BSP in 1996 and both the times the candidates supported by National Conference won, while our party became weak,” he said.
Among others, who were present in the public meeting, included NC General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, Provincial President Jammu, Rattan Lal Gupta, senior leader Sajjad Kitchloo, Advisor to Omar Abdullah, Tanvir Sadiq, YNC Provincial President Ajaz Jan, Brij Mohan Sharma, Dr Shaid and Mehboob Iqbal.