SRINAGAR Senior BJP leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan as well as saffron partys state president Ravinder Rana on Saturday said Kashmir-based mainstream politicians were spreading rumours by linking the movement of troops to the Valley to the abrogation of Article 35-A of the Constitution. The statement triggered angry reaction by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who cited a wireless message to all Cos JKAP/IRP battalions of Jammu Zone and others, asking them to communicate the shortfall of Riot Control Equipments/Gas Gun, TSMs etc (if any) urgently.
Please ask him if we are imagining such orders issued by J&K Police where the words special law & order duties are mentioned. The order also asks about shortfall of riot control equipment/gas guns etc. May be the BJP & the government need to coordinate better instead of lying, Omar tweeted.
The wireless message stated: As desired by worthy ADGP Armed J&K Srinagar, 100 Coys by mixing the manpower of your respective units/ training centres have been framed for special law and order duties under your command and control as & when required (.) You are requested to communicate the shortfall of Riot Control Equipments/Gas Gun, TSMs etc (if any) to this today by or before 1400 hours positively for onward submission to higher ups (.) Matter Most Urgent and needs your personal attention please.
Earlier, Chouhans comments came days after the Centre ordered rushing of about 10,000 central forces personnel to the Kashmir valley in order to strengthen counter-insurgency operations and law and order duties there.
“These rumours are being spread by our friends. The movement of troops is a normal process,” Chouhan told reporters here when asked about opposition parties linking the movement of troops to repealing of Article 35-A.
“The government has also said that we are ready for the assembly polls whenever the Election Commission wants to conduct them and additional forces are needed for the smooth conduct of the polls,” the BJP leader, who was here to launch a membership drive of the party, said.
“There is nothing more to it. But Omar (Abdullah) and Mehbooba (Mufti) have to have some issue, so they are raising it,” he added.
Asked whether the Centre was planning to repeal Article 35-A, Chouhan said the matter was before the Supreme Court.
The Centre on Thursday ordered deployment of 100 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) “in order to strengthen the CI (counter-insurgency) grid as well as for maintaining law and order situation” in Jammu and Kashmir. One CAPF company comprises about 100 personnel.
Reacting to the development, Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti said on Saturday that the Centre needs to rethink its policy to resolve things in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Centre’s decision to deploy additional 10,000 troops to the valley has created fear psychosis amongst people. There is no dearth of security forces in Kashmir. J&K is a political problem which won’t be solved by military means. GOI needs to rethink & overhaul its policy,” the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said on Twitter.
Chouhan also criticised National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah’s remarks wherein he warned people against boycotting the forthcoming assembly polls as it could help the BJP.
“I have heard about his remarks. He was warning people, but cited examples of those who worked against the country and not of those who sacrificed their lives for the nation. He is worried how the BJP is making inroads into the Valley,” the BJP leader said.
Abdullah, at a party meeting on Friday, had said if the trend of parliamentary polls continues in the assembly elections, then there will be a BJP MLA from Tral.
“Imagine, there will be a BJP MLA from the same Tral where from Burhan Wani and Zakir Musa were if there is a boycott (of polls),” he had said.
Wani and Musa, militants of Hizbul Mujahideen and Ansar Ghazwat-ul Hind groups respectively, were killed in encounters with security forces.
Chouhan alleged that Abdullah and Mehbooba had looted Jammu and Kashmir, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched a decisive battle against corruption.
“Be it Omar or Mehbooba, when their governments ruled Jammu and Kashmir, they left no stone unturned to loot the state. Funds came for development, but did not reach the people, there was corruption,” he said.
“Now, a new India is emerging under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the country is moving forward fast. There is a decisive battle against corruption,” he added.
When asked if the BJP would again join hands with a regional party in the state to form the government, Chouhan said the saffron party would come to power on its own.
He demanded opening of Sharada Peeth shrine across the Line of Control for Indian pilgrims.
“The Ministry of External Affairs has also raised this demand with Pakistan to open the shrine for ‘darshan’. The government will raise the issue with Pakistan, but the society also demands that the shrine be opened so that people go there and perform ‘darshan’,” he said.