Omar Abdullah questions ‘silence’ of Centre, Opposition on harassment of Kashmirishttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/omar-abdullah-questions-silence-of-centre-opposition-on-harassment-of-kashmiris-after-pulwama-attack-5595543/

Omar Abdullah questions ‘silence’ of Centre, Opposition on harassment of Kashmiris

Former J&K Chief Minister on Thursday said that if Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “willing to sacrifice an entire community for the sake of elections, then it is extremely unfortunate for this country”.

Omar Abdullah at the press conference in Srinagar on Thursday. (Express Photo)
Omar Abdullah at the press conference in Srinagar on Thursday. (Express Photo)

Questioning the silence of the Central government and the opposition in the wake of reports of alleged harassment of Kashmiris in many states, former J&K Chief Minister on Thursday said that if Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “willing to sacrifice an entire community for the sake of elections, then it is extremely unfortunate for this country”.

Addressing a press conference, the National Conference vice-president said that initially, they considered this the work of “misguided people who are not in their right minds and who are exploiting the situation”. However, in the last couple of days, it seems these forces have “the permission and blessing of the ruling party at the Centre”. He said that at a time like this, when the country needs a statement, “all we can see are politicians and no statesmen”.

Also read | Attacks on Kashmiri students after Pulwama: SC to hear plea on Friday

Omar also criticised the Congress: “While the PM was silent, it is unfortunate that the leadership of the country’s biggest opposition party has also been silent on this entire episode… In today’s press conference, they spoke of RDX and the highway and all other matters, they could have mentioned the assault on Kashmiris. It is being done by the same forces that the Congress is confronting on paper but is failing to speak out against them.”

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He said that while the Prime Minister and Home Minister have maintained silence on the issue, the Governor of a state (Meghalaya’s Tathagata Roy) has openly called for boycotting Kashmiris. “So what is our fault? Is it that J&K is the only Muslim-majority state? Will we be repeatedly punished for this? We did not hold much hope from the BJP, but we did hold hope from the PM, we thought he might say something.

Also read | Maharashtra: Kashmiri students beaten up in Yavatmal

“The country needs an alternative to the BJP and not BJP’s B team. I hope the Congress and all right-minded parties take a strong stand against the systematic targeting of Kashmiris.”

He urged Governor Satya Pal Malik to ensure that students who have been forced to return from other states should be taken care of, and arrangements made so that they do not lose an academic year.

Plea seeks SC intervention on ‘targeting’ of Kashmiri students

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday will hear a petition seeking its intervention to prevent the alleged targeting of Kashmiri students in the wake of the February 14 Pulwama terrorist strike .

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves mentioned the plea filed by advocate Tariq Adeeb before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. The court fixed it for hearing Friday.

The petition said that “immediately after the (Pulwama) attack, mobs and vigilante groups engaged in vitriolic hate speech and began attacking and threatening Muslims and Kashmiris throughout the country”, and referred to some of these alleged instances.

It alleged that the Centre and states have not been effective in curbing this and sought the court’s intervention. —ENS

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