Srinagar: National Conference working president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said the "unabated repression" of civilians in Kashmir seemed like an effort to punish people for the ongoing unrest, but would only prolong the cycle of violence that has left the Valley on the boil.
"Nocturnal raids, imposing slapping of Public Safety Acts indiscriminately, ransacking peoples' homes and burning their crops and animal fodder cannot be an acceptable modus operandi of the state's security forces in dealing with a political situation," Omar said.
He said it was imprudent to expect that such acts would lead to sustainable peace and normalcy. "Hundreds of electric transformers in rural areas have been damaged beyond repair in a clear attempt to persecute people en-masse by depriving them of essential services. People in rural areas are now trying to protect electric transformers in their areas with sand bags because security forces are firing bullets to damage them," he said in a statement.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said trying to "arm twist" people into political adherence was a dangerous policy and would only lead to more violence. "New Delhi accepted that dialogue is the answer to the simmering discontent in Kashmir and their current assumption that the agitation can be seen off by tiring people is fraught with enormous risks because when the fatigue wears out - as it eventually will, the agitation will spark off again.
"To deal with Kashmir as cyclic problem of agitations and managing agitations defies the overarching interests of peace and prosperity," Omar said. He said the fundamental rights of the people in Kashmir have to be upheld and the state's "intentional reluctance" to do so fuels the perception of isolation and alienation in Kashmir.
"Treating all Kashmiris as hostile combatants who deserve to be persecuted into discipline and coerced into normalcy is a validation of those voices that question the State's sincerity in dealing with the people of Kashmir fairly, humanely and in a just manner," he said.