Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the silence of the prime minister on the incidents of violence against Kashmiris in various parts of the country in the aftermath of the 14 February terror attack in Pulwama.
Addressing the media in Srinagar, Abdullah claimed that it seemed forces that "demonise" Kashmiris have the support of the ruling party.
"It has come to our knowledge that Kashmiri students in the universities of Dehradun and West Bengal, who have nothing to do with the 14 February terror attack, are being targeted, threatened, and even ousted, " said the National Conference leader.
#PulwamaPolitics – It seems that these forces that are acting against Kashmiri have the support of the ruling party: @JKNC_'s @OmarAbdullah addresses media over #PulwamaTerrorAttack. pic.twitter.com/j87J9lWj8Y
— News18 (@CNNnews18) February 21, 2019
However, he expressed gratitude to Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee for ensuring safety of Kashmiris in their states.
Condemning the "systematic attacks" directed against the Kashmiris, Abdullah also took a potshot at Meghalaya governor Tathagata Roy, who tweeted on Tuesday, asking for a blanket boycott of "everything Kashmiri". Roy had also asked people not to visit Kashmir for the next two years.
Taking a dig at Roy's remark, Abdullah said: "When in Chhattisgarh, even a greater alarming situation than Pulwama strikes and many brave CRPF jawans are killed, nobody talks about the economic boycott of Chhattisgarh, the people of Chhattisgarh are not locked up in hotel rooms, no governor protested that boycott of tourism should take place in the state. Are we being targeted only because we are Kashmiri."
He also said talks with Pakistan cannot be held in the backdrop of attacks such as the one in Pulwama.
"Our prime minister has talked about a muh tod jawab, but such a reply is not possible in the current situation," said Abdullah.
He also asked Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik to ensure the security of Kashmiri students who were forced to return home following alleged threats and attacks in the wake of the Pulwama terror strike.
Referring to the withdrawal of security to Kashmiri separatist leaders, he said it was a "regressive step" and he was not aware of anybody misusing security.
"My concern is about the withdrawal of security to mainstream political operators. On one hand, you’re telling us that we have to be prepared for Parliament and Assembly elections, on the other hand, you're telling us that we no longer deserve the protection of the state," Abdullah said.
The state government on Wednesday announced withdrawal or downgrading of security of 155 persons, including 18 separatists. The list included former IAS officer Shah Faesal and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) youth president Waheed Parra.
Castigating the prime minister over his recent meet with the Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammad bin Abdullah, he said, "We've never been in favour of violence and terror, we've only vouched for solution through dialogue. When we talk of dialogue we're dubbed anti-nationals and pro-Pakistan, but in joint statement with Saudi Arabia, the two leaders talk about composite dialogue."
The NC leader also lashed out at the Congress over its silence on violence attributed to Kashmiris: "Even the greatest Opposition leadership in the nation kept silent. We expected them to lend moral support. Congress held a press conference today, they could have at least talked about the protection of Kashmiris."
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Feb 21, 2019 17:01:34 IST