More Pellet Guns Shows No Lessons Learnt: Omar

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BEERWAH: Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Friday said that PDP’s “continued subservience” to the BJP was alarming and could have long-lasting adverse implications on the State and its stability.

Addressing workers National Conference Working President and MLA Beerwah, Omar Abdullah said, “the multi-fold increase in number of pellet guns from around 600 to now around 6,000 showed that the present government had chosen to not learn any lessons from the recent unrest and the devastating effect of pellet guns when hundreds of young kids lost partial or complete eyesight.”

The NC leader also expressed disappointment at PDP’s “deliberate and deafening| silence on comments made by senior BJP leader and its Member of Parliament, Sakshi Maharaj who had recently remarked that there was no place for Muslims to be buried in India and they should be cremated.

“Such is the extent and depth of PDP’s sell-out to the BJP that they can’t even muster the courage to oppose Sakshi Maharaj’s statement denigrating Muslims and questioning their right to be buried in accordance to their religious rights and rituals. PDP is a partner of the BJP and its silence in the face of such brazen statements means that PDP is a part and parcel of such communal programs that are aimed at harassing and intimidating minorities in order to derive political dividends in elections around the country,” the NC leader said while answering questions raised by the media on the sidelines of the party function at Beerwah.

“We all remember Mehbooba Ji’s statements and press conferences on the use of pellet guns when she was in the opposition. Unfortunately, despite the enormous and staggering human costs of using these guns that we witnessed in 2016, Mehbooba Ji remains unmoved as the number of pellet guns are expected to go up from around 600 to around 6000 now. Imagine the height of hypocrisy and shamelessness that this Government has the audacity to not only continue with the use of pellet guns but also increase their number ten-fold. Making customary offers of donating her eyes to pellet guns cannot absolve Mehbooba Ji of this new U-turn,” the NC Working President said.

Condemning recent remarks made by BJP MP Sakshi Mahraj, Omar Abdullah said that these remarks were deliberate attempts to intimidate and harass Muslims and use polarization as a political tool to benefit BJP in ongoing elections.

“While BJP has its own plans and goals to polarize people and use that as a tactic in the ongoing elections, why is PDP silent? Is it too much to ask to expect the Chief Minister of India’s only Muslims majority State to stand up and speak up for the democratic and constitutional rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir? We all know what Mehbooba Ji would have done in the face of such comments had she been in the opposition,” Omar added.

‘Power Of Arrogance’

Meanwhile Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani on Friday said that Indian authorities are “hell-bent to muzzle voices with the dent of might”. “It illustrates their power of arrogance and they are looking Kashmir issue through the prism of law and order,” said a statement by the Hurriyat Conference in reaction to the Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI, which has authorized use of more than 4900 more pellet guns in Valley by CRPF. “It is sheer arrogance.”

“It illustrates their thinking and verifies that authorities don’t accept and realise the fundamental issue,” the statement added.

The Hurriyat Conference spokesperson of the amalgam said, “more weapons like pellet guns is of grave concern for people in Jammu and Kashmir and moreover it is an open challenge for those organisations fighting and striving for human rights as these organisations have composed enough records about the horrors of pellet gun.”

Flaying the Union Home Ministry of India for the decision, the Hurriyat Conference added, “they have no regard for human values. They neither heed to objections raised by concerned quarters nor they show any care and concern for precious lives and values.’

“They have not learnt any lesson from uprising in 2016 and the use of this lethal weapon has resulted in several young men and women being blinded,” the statement added.

“More than 100 innocents were brutally killed, 6000 maimed and those who lost their eyesight figure more than seventy, however, they turned their blind eye to these incidents and are hell-bent to repeat all this in 2017,” the Hurriyat Conference statement added.

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