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Youth alienated, forced to pick up arms during Mehbooba’s reign: Omar

Jammu, Jan 8: National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah on Tuesday expressed concern over growing inclination among Jammu and Kashmir youth towards militancy, saying shrinking of space has pushed them to the wall.

“Compared to just a dozen or more youth drawn towards militancy in a span of years during my tenure as Chief Minister, far more than this number are taking to arms on monthly basis”, Omar Abdullah said while addressing a day-long convention of Youth National Conference, Jammu Region at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here.

Omar described increase in militant related violence as alarming and disturbing, saying “terrorism” is raising head in the hitherto militancy free areas.“In my tenure, Chenab Valley had been declared as militancy free zone but now the acts of terror are reported from there”, he said and refereed to the killing of a BJP leader in Kishtwar along with his brother, terror attacks in Sunjwan and as latest as recently grenade throwing in busy B. C Road in Jammu.
He said militant activities have unfortunately become routine in the Valley and due to lack of vision it is spreading its tentacles in other parts as well.
The former Chief Minister blamed the BJP and PDP for shrinking the space for youth by throttling avenues of jobs for them, resulting in alienation.
He particularly referred to most provocative and proactive anti-youth mindset of the former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and questioned her moral grandstanding in seeking support of youngsters by expressing so-called remorse over mayhem unleashed by her government against them to placate the BJP.
“Mufti must not mistake public memory too short, as not to remember her 2016 doctrine that the guns in the hands of the security forces were not just for showcasing but using”, he said and referred to killing and maiming of teenagers.
Omar Abdullah sought an end to youth alienation by engaging them in positive pursuits and reiterated the commitment of National Conference to work for carving out vistas of opportunities for them. He lauded the spirit of public service among youth participating in the convention and described them as hope of the extended NC family.
“We owe our youth a peaceful, progressive and inclusive Jammu and Kashmir for bequeathing to the posterity”, Omar Abdullah said, adding the NC cadre will have to work overtime to retrieve the state of yesteryears when people used to live in harmony.
He said he was aware of youth problems and resolute to solving these once National Conference is provided an opportunity to serve the state.
He lamented that initiatives like Himayat, Udaan and SKEPWY initiated between 2009 and 2014 were either abandoned or pushed to back-burner by the PDP-BJP government, depriving youth of the job openings.
He said whatever little jobs were provided in their misrule of three and half years, have gone to their kin, relatives or favourites but not to the genuine, deserving and poor educated unemployed.


‘10% quota Bill a political gimmick’

Jammu, Jan 8: former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday described Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s quota announcement as “political gimmick’’, saying that it would have done it much earlier if it really wanted to.

Addressing party’s one-day youth convention at Sher-i-Kashmir Bhawan here, Omar said that politics is a strange thing. Politicians are experts in exploiting people and they think that the people are fools as they do not have mind, he said, adding that he felt this yesterday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sudden announcement about 10 per cent reservation to economically weaker sections of the society.

“Had he waited for four and a half years if he really wanted to give it?’’ Omar asked, adding that one does not wait for something which he wants to do from one’s heart. They suddenly realised about 10 per cent reservation after having lost elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Rajasthan and Telangana, he added.

The NC leader said, adding that the Centre feels that the Bill will not sail through one or the other place. If it gets stuck up in Parliament, they will say that they intended to give it, but parliament did not agree to it. “If the court struck it down, they will blame the judiciary,” he pointed out, adding that they do not intend to give reservation in the true sense.