Jammu- National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah on Saturday said the local political leaders have grown accustomed to curbs put on their movement post-August 2019 but such measures cannot weaken their connect with the masses.
The erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir in 2019, following the repeal of Article 370 which gave the former state special administrative powers.
The former J&K chief minister expressed concern over the militant activity in the region, saying militancy is rearing its head even in the area which had been declared militancy-free sometime back.
Omar was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a party convention of Chenab valley zone functionaries at Batote in Ramban district.
“This is not a new thing (restrictions on movement of NC leaders and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti). After August 5, 2019, it is a regular affair and we have become habitual of it but we have also learned how to dodge and fight back and we will continue to do so,” he said.
On the latest terrorist attack on migrant labourers in south Kashmir’s Shopian district despite BJP’s insisting that the situation in the valley has improved, Omar said, “we are repeatedly saying that if they claim that the situation has improved, then why not hold elections.”
He said that the Centre’s tall claims on an improved security were belied by terror attacks in Shopian, Rajouri, and Poonch.
Either the claims are wrong or we are not able to see the real situation, he added.
The border districts of Rajouri and Poonch have so far this year witnessed several militant attacks, leaving 10 soldiers and seven civilians dead.
“We are witnessing militancy in areas which were declared free of militancy. The attacks are unimaginable and if such attacks are taking place, it is the failure of the government,” the NC leader said.
He also referred to a recruitment scam last year which is presently under a CBI probe.
“On August 2019, people were promised jobs. They came out with a list, cancelled it the next day followed by inquiry. Those who qualified for the jobs lost the opportunity and crossed the age limit,” he said.
J&K administration handed over the case to the agency in July after cancelling the selected list of 1,200 Police Sub-inspectors, 1,300 Junior Engineers, and 1,000 Finance Account Assistants (FAA) following allegations of paper leak and other malpractices.
“… this government is not able to do justice with the people anywhere sometimes a government has to take difficult decisions, but this government has known for doing only that. This government has not provided any sort of relief to the people,” he said.
On the J&K administration’s move to give five marlas of land to the homeless, he said the government has changed the state subject laws post-August 2019 and which has caused a problem.
He said the government must ascertain for how long the people have been living in the J&K before they are extended the benefits of the scheme.
“We ask it to set a cutoff date of August 5, 2019 and exclude those from the scheme who came to the Union Territory after that date,” he said.
Omar said the National Conference has its hopes pinned on the Supreme Court which is going to hear a bunch of petitions challenging Article 370 abrogation from next month. “We are hopeful that citizens of J&K will get justice.”
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