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Terrorism has revived in areas where we eradicated it: Omar Abdullah

Omar, who was talking to mediapersons here after concluding his week long tour of border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, said that during our tenure in government Srinagar and northern districts of Kashmir were made terrorism-free. However, people in Srinagar up-town were also now feeling unsafe, what to talk of other areas.

Statesman News Service | Jammu |

Former Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah on Friday said that contrary to BJP government’s claim of normalcy in Kashmir, terrorism has revived in areas where we eradicated it.

Omar, who was talking to mediapersons here after concluding his week long tour of border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, said that during our tenure in government Srinagar and northern districts of Kashmir were made terrorism-free. However, people in Srinagar up-town were also now feeling unsafe, what to talk of other areas.

Minorities, police personnel and civilians are being targeted and gunned down.
We were told Article 370 was reason for separatist mentality and terrorism in J&K. The ground reality is that two and a half years have passed after abrogation of the special status of J&K but situation has worsened rather then improving. Targeted killings are taking place one after another.

Replying to a question on the government’s claim that normalcy has returned to Kashmir as there is heavy rush of tourists and flights amid a decrease in stone pelting, Omar said tourism cannot be seen as a sign of normalcy when the security situation is worsening day by day. Stone-pelting was controlled during our government.

”When an employee becomes a target on his seat in a busy office, or a cop gets killed at his home, this can be a new face of normalcy for BJP, I cannot say anything,” he added.

”We feel sorry that innocent people are being killed one after another. Minorities are being killed. Police persons are being killed. Civilians are getting killed in cross-firing and targeted killings,” he said.

The extent of fear was such that Kashmiri Pandit employees were ready to leave their jobs and leave Kashmir. The UT has been witnessing protests by Kashmiri Pandits since the killing of government employee Rahul Bhat by terrorists inside his office in Budgam on 12 May.

He said that Kashmiri Pandit employees met leaders of the People’s Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) seeking justice. ”PADG leaders went to Lieutenant Governor to ensure that they don’t leave the valley. It is not normalcy,” he added.

Asked whether the targeted killings started after the release of ‘Kashmir Files’ movie, he said such incidents took place even before and referred to the killing of chemist Makhan Lal Bindroo and Akash, the son of the owner of the popular food joint Krishna Dhaba in Srinagar, last year.

Abdullah said it is for the people to decide whether the movie has contributed to improving the situation or worsening it.

Abdullah also called for respecting the sentiments of the people in view of the loudspeaker ban, and said there is a need to find a middle path to resolve the issue of noise emanating from loudspeakers.