Thursday, 15 August 2013

Kashmiris are separatists for they are being treated differently, Omar Abdullah

Kashmiris are separatists for they are being treated differently, Omar Abdullah
Visibly angry and upset over the way different political parties have dealt with the riot-hit Kishtwar, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Thursday that the Kashmiris were being forced to feel themselves separate from the Indian mainstream.
In an unusually harsh Independence Day ceremonial address at Bakhshi Stadium, Mr Abdullah expressed his dismay over the treatment meted out to his State by the Indian mainstream political parties. While as the parties like BJP are spearheading an agitation with various accusations, insinuations and demands, political outfits like Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party [BSP] have demanded dismissal of the Omar Abdullah-led coalition government over the communal riots in Kishtwar town.
“I was often being asked why the Kashmiris had separatist inclinations. A many times, I asked myself but didn’t get an answer. After [the riots in] Kishtwar, I have now got an answer. We are different [from them] as they treat us differently”, Mr Abdullah said in his speech after hoisting the national flag and taking salute from different contingents of J&K Police and armed forces.
The complaining Chief Minister referred to a number of communal and other riots in different Indian States in the last several years --- including Gujarat, Bihar, UP, West Bengal --- and asked: “Which of those States had forced them to rush the national level leaders next day?” He asserted that none of those riots had led to a national level debate in the Parliament. Mr Abdullah was unusually categorical in his impression that the Kashmiris were feeling themselves “separate” as they were being treated “separately and differently”.
The I-Day ceremonial parades progressed smoothly amid tight security arrangements in all the 20 districts in Kashmir and Jammu provinces. Rains were the only spoilsport as school children and cultural groups could not participate and perform at certain places. Curfew, which had been imposed in apprehension of the spillover of trouble after the violent riots in Kishtwar on August 9th, was lifted overnight from all the district headquarters and major towns in Jammu.
However, there was no relaxation in Kishtwar where Minister of Law Mir Saifullah unfurled the Tricolour and took salute at an official function. Army has been in control of the situation along with J&K Police in Kishtwar district since August 9th.
Shutdown in Valley
As a routine feature since the outbreak of separatist militancy in 1990, entire Kashmir valley observed shutdown over different calls from the separatist and militant outfits. Senior leaders of the both factions of Hurriyat Conference, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Omar Farooq, besides Yasin Malik of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and Shabir Shah of Democratic Freedom Party had called upon the Kashmiris to observe “Black Day” to register what they called the Kashmiris’ protest against the Indian military occupation.
Transport and business establishments did not operate due to these calls for shutdown coupled with the heavy security bandobust and undeclared restrictions on the movement of traffic. Even the people carrying special passes and going to participate in the I-Day ceremonies at several places complained that they were tersely sent back by the Police and paramilitary forces.

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