Omar Says Nuke Advisory ‘Madness’

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SRINAGAR: Chief minister Omar Abdullah has termed the recent advisory issued in J and K on nuclear war as “madness” and “foolishness,” saying that it had created more fear than awareness among people.

As usual, the chief minister spoke his mind on Twitter, perhaps indicating his helplessness, given that the advisory – with detailed dos and don’ts in case of nuclear, chemical or biological incidents – was issued this week by a wing of the state police.

Pertinently, the chief minister also holds the home portfolio under which the state police is supposed to function.

The has been no word from the government whether the Jammu-based inspector general of police (home guards, civil defence and the state disaster response force, or SDRF) had issued the advertisements off his own, or had been under orders from somewhere else.

The state government, whose chief minister today voiced criticism on the advertisements published in major newspapers in Jammu and Kashmir, has neither distanced itself from the step, nor called the officers concerned to account.

Even as news of the publication raged across wire services internationally, the central government, too, has been intriguingly silent, notwithstanding foreign minister Salman Khursheed’s painstaking efforts to convey that tensions with Pakistan were under control.

Appearing close on the heels of a severe and dangerous flare-up between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan across the Line of Control in Kashmir, the advisory has set off panic, particularly in the frontier districts where residents are reported to have begun acting on its directions.

Apart from “immediate response steps” in the event of a nuclear blast, the police advisory asks people to construct basements and underground bunkers, and stock them with non-perishable food items and water to last a family 15 days. 

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