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BJP encourages, Congress maintains silence over attacks on Kashmiris: Omar

Srinagar, Feb 21: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Thursday hit out at both Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress for not speaking out against the “systematic targeting of Kashmiris” in various parts of the country following the Pulwama attack last week.

Omar said while BJP is “encouraging such attacks”; Congress on other hand is maintaining silence over the attacks on Kashmiris. “Kashmiris are being “defamed” under a well-planned conspiracy in the backdrop of Pulwama incident,” he said while addressing a press conference here in Srinagar.

 

“Initially we thought that there were some misguided people and taking advantage of the situation. But it seems they have a blessing of the Centre,” he claimed, while asking,” why Prime Minister was silent on Kashmiri being targeted in various parts of country”.

Omar said that a campaign has been launched on social media and media against Kashmiris. “Boards have been installed outside hotels that rooms are not available for Kashmiris.”

He claimed that it was systematic to target Kashmiris and a convenient way because PM has talked about “muh tod jawab” but “such a reply” is not possible in current situation as Pakistan has said they will retaliate.

“Elections will come and go and PM shall not sacrifice entire community for political interests. We need statesmen not politicians. But entire community is being demonized and painted with one brush.”

Omar said that they get reports that Kashmiris have been attacked in Dehradun, West Bengal, Rajasthan, and various other parts of the country. “Our children go outside for studies to make their bright future. But they are being attacked and threatened despite having nothing to do with politics,” he said.

“Are we targeted for JK being only Muslim majority state in the country? Why are we being blamed and doubted?” he asked.

He was flanked by senior NC leaders, Ali Mohammad Sagar, and Nasir Aslam Wani.

He asked Kashmiris to respond the situation wisely, which would not further complicate the situation.

“BJP is trying to use this tragedy for political mileage. This country needs an alternative to BJP. It will be great disservice to country if Congress does the same what the BJP did before 2014 polls,” he said.

He said that governors of few states have called for economic boycott with Kashmiris, withdrawal of Article 370, and don’t go for Amarnath Yatra.

“We expected that these statements will be condemned by PM. He had said at Lal Qila that Kashmiris need hugs, neither bullets, and abuses. He did not reject governors’ statements. Even Home Minister did not speak that such things won’t be allowed,” he said.

He said when an attack took place in Chatisgarh on CRPF men, there was no selective targeting. “No governor gave such statements then why are only

Kashmiris being targeted. When Mumbai attack took place, the then Prime Minister asked people to stay calm.”

Although Omar said there was no firm evidence that there is a “nudge” from the ruling party for these attacks, but claimed, “I think it would be shortsighted on my part that forth coming polls have nothing to do and there will be no bearing on polls about the fallout of this attack”.

He also questioned the silence of the opposition Congress party.

“The Congress gave a press conference where they talked about Pulwama attack but not spoke a single work over attacks on Kashmiris. It is very unfortunate that Congress did not raise its voice properly,” he said.

He however appreciated Punjab and West Bengal chief ministers for taking abrupt action against those who attacked Kashmiris. He also praised Sikh community and some Hindus for coming to the rescue of Kashmiri Muslims. “But the political leadership of the country failed us despite we don’t support violence and terrorism.”

He said that alienation will further increase to Kashmiris by such incidents. “Those who left study half-way and return back home could pick up the stones. Who will be responsible for this? Those who want to take advantage shall be held responsible,” he asked.
Omar asked Governor Satya Pal Malik to ensure security of Kashmiri students forced to return home in the wake of threats. “I appeal Governor to make an arrangement for these students till situation comes back to the normalcy.”

He said that his party always advocate for dialogue and to maintain communal harmony.

“When we talk of dialogue (to resolve Kashmir issue), we are branded anti-national. There is propaganda to give the dog a bad name and kill it. But Sauda Arabia and India issued a joint statement for composite dialogue.”

 

‘Will move court on decision of withdrawing security’
Mudassir Kuloo
Srinagar, Feb 21: Senior National Conference leader Omar Abdullah Thursday said that his party would move courts if the decision to withdraw the security cover to mainstream politicians was not revisited.
“I am not aware of anybody misusing security,” he said on withdrawal of security to separatist leaders.
“Ramification of this withdrawn will have fallout in the future. It is no secret that two separatists, Moulvi Umar Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone were killed by militants. Therefore provision of security to them (separatists) was consideration of various governments.”
The NC vice president said the withdrawal of security to mainstream political workers and office bearers is a retrograde step that will only weaken political activity in the valley. “We are being told to prepare for Parliamentary and Assembly polls and on the other hand we don’t deserve protection of the state. Such steps will only hamper the political space here,” he said.
Omar questioned the step taken by the Governor administration and asked him to reconsider it.
Raising question over the security withdrawal, Omar said the step was taken without taking into consideration inputs from central and state intelligence agencies.
“I would like to ask Governor reconsider this step. If it is not revisited we will approach the courts to seek files and to intervene,” Omar added.

 

UP institution stops fellowship of two girls, cancels admission
Press Trust of India
Bareilly (UP), Feb 21: The Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) here has taken action against three Kashmiri girls for allegedly posting adverse remarks against the Indian Army on social media, a senior official said Thursday.
After the deadly Pulwama attack on February 14, these girls allegedly made some adverse and objectionable comments on a Whatsapp group in which other students were also members, the official said.
After the matter came to light, the institute conducted a probe and action was taken thereafter.
“The action against the three Kashmiri girl students was taken on Wednesday after a probe and local intelligence report. While fellowship of two girls has been stopped, admission of one other has been cancelled,” Registrar, IVRI, Rakesh Kumar said.
He said the two students, whose fellowship was stopped, have been warned not to indulge in any such activities in the future failing which they will be expelled.
49 CRPF personnel were killed and five injured last week in one of the deadliest attacks in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district for which the Jaish-e-Mohammad has taken responsibility.
Seven Kashmiri students were earlier this week suspended by Roorkee-based Quantum Global University for their posts on social media.

 

5 held for assault on Kashmiri trader in West Bengal
Agencies
Kolkata, Feb 21: Five persons have been arrested for assaulting a Kashmiri shawl trader in West Bengal’s Nadia district, police said on Thursday.
Jawed Ahmed Khan, 27, was assaulted by a group of people in Taherpur area on February 18 but he was rescued, a police officer said.
He said