Says tourism not everything for Kashmir; Asks party men stay with people everywhere
Srinagar- National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah Sunday asked the party men to be ready for a stage where they may have to offer similar sacrifices as that of Indian farmers, for getting back the rights snatched by the Centre.
Addressing party workers at his father and NC patriarch Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah’s mausoleum at Hazratbal here on the occasion of Sheikh’s birth anniversary, Dr Farooq said that every single NC worker and leader has to be remain in touch with people on ground in every village and locality.
“All of you have to be steadfast. Centre repealed farm laws after the sacrifices of 700 farmers. We may also have to offer similar sacrifices to get back the rights that have been snatched from us by the Centre,” he said as per news reports. Hundreds of NC workers and leaders had assembled at Naseembagh to pay tributes to NC founder on this death anniversary amid incessant rains.
After almost a year of protests by farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on November 19 announced the decision to repeal the farm laws passed last year to ease rules around the sale, pricing and storage of crops.
“(The farmers protested for) 11 months, more than 700 farmers died. The Centre had to revoke the three farm Bills when farmers made sacrifices. We may also have to make sacrifices like that to get back our rights.
“Remember this, we have promised to get back (Articles) 370, 35-A and statehood and we are ready to make any sacrifice,” Abdullah said.
The NC, however, is not against brotherhood and does not support violence, he said.
Reacting to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s recent statement that post abrogation of Article 370, J&K is witnessing peace and tourism, Dr Farooq said that if tourism is picking up in Kashmir, what does that mean? “Is tourism everything,” the NC chief asked.
“In Delhi, they talk about how tourism has increased. As if tourism is everything. What about the 50,000 jobs you promised? Where are those jobs? In fact, you are terminating those in service.”
“You had promised 50,000 jobs, where are they? Rather you are terminating our people. Were there no people for employing in the (Jammu & Kashmir) Bank that you got people from Punjab and Haryana?
“Where will the boys and girls from J&K go? But if we raise our voices, they are crushed. The media is facing pressure, they (journalists) are summoned to police stations if they write anything against (the government). And they (government) say there is freedom,” he said.
On the recent Hyderpora encounter and how the families of two civilians killed in the operation forced the administration to return their bodies, Abdullah said it was made possible because people showed unity.
He demanded that the body of another person, Amir Magray, killed in the encounter also be returned to his family.
“Three innocent people were killed (in the Hyderpora encounter). When people raised their voices, they (the administration) returned the bodies so that their kin could bury them. This is what unity can do.
“But the body of one person has still not been returned to his family. How many innocent people would they have killed this way? We will hold them accountable. He (God) will also hold them accountable and no one will escape that,” the NC chief said.