Srinagar, Mar 23: Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was on Tuesday released after 232 days as the government revoked his detention order under Public Safety Act.
Omar announced that he will “speak wholeheartedly” about the “lot which happed while he was in detention but only after the present battle against coronavirus, which he described being about “life and death”, was over.
“In these 232 days, a lot has happened. A lot changed. For us individually and or us collectively. I thought a lot what I would say the moment I come out. What I would say about what happened on August 5. What I would say about the way J&K state was broken up into two union territories. What I would say about the status of Jammu and Kashmir and about the hardships the people faced. How our children could not go to schools for many months, how our shops keepers couldn’t make any earning, hotels were closed, taxi drivers could make any earnings, our houseboat owners and shikara people, our factory men faced tremendous hardships,” Omar, wearing a blue and grey striped T-shirt, told media men.
“I was detained and confined at one place but hardships by people who were closed in their homes are huge. I had thought to talk a lot about it but today I am cogent to the fact that we are fighting a huge battle, it is about life and death,” Omar, who now grown a beard, said.
“Unfortunately we have assembled here against the government directive. We have been told to keep social distance and take other hygiene measures. The politics of the state, situation and what happened on August 5, I will talk about it fully. First and foremost there is need to get rid of this coronavirus and save ourselves, parents, children, neighbours and friends and also those detained within state or outside,” he said and demanded release of all detainees, whether lodged in Jammu and Kashmir or outside.
“I want in this difficult situation, centre government to have mercy on them, release them and pardon them and bring them home,” he said, adding, “I request the centre to please release all, be it Mehbooba ji or my NC colleges or from PDP or from any other party, some of them are those who are not linked to any party and are detained since August.”
He also demanded restoration of high-speed internet in wake of the present pandemic.
“I also request the centre that for God sake please restore 3G and 4G internet and lift the communication clampdown,” he said, adding, “Give us 3G and 4G which has been snatched from us.
We are told that we should get awareness and other lessons against coronavirus. What shall we surf when nothing (no website) opens.”
He also requested people to maintain social distance and take other preventive measures. “I will talk wholeheartedly about Article 370, 35A, UT or bifurcation of state once coronavirus is controlled.”