SRINAGAR: Criticizing the BJP’s narrative that militancy in Kashmir was due to existence of Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir till August 5, 2019, the former Chief Minister and National Conference Vice-President Omar Abdullah has accused the BJP of deceiving people with its rhetorics.
Omar said, “We were told that if there are guns in Kashmir, it is only due to Article 370. If Article 370 is removed, there will be no guns but prosperity and stability. Five people were killed recently in an encounter (in Kulgam). Four of them joined militancy in 2020 and the fifth in 2021. It was after 2019. It exposes (the BJP’s) deception. You not only deceived the people of Jammu and Kashmir but the rest of the country too.”
Speaking to the mediapersons, Omar Abdullah said the Kashmiris are being betrayed in the name of elections, employment and development.
“We are only getting betrayed. We are betrayed in the name of election, in the name of solving unemployment and development. What is the reason that the problem of electricity has not been solved yet? Today, they say that they have a lot of money. What is the reason behind electricity cuts for 14 hours?” said Omar Abdullah while speaking to reporters in Kulgam.
Earlier, the NC leader made these remarks while addressing a public rally at Kulgam in south Kashmir on Monday. Five local militants were killed in an overnight encounter on November 17 in Kulgam’s Samno area. “Can they (the BJP) explain why they (militants) die? We are being deceived in the name of elections, solving unemployment and development,” he said.
Calling for elections in J&K, which remains without an elected Assembly since 2018, the former Chief Minister said he had expectations from the Supreme Court (SC). “The honourable SC during the hearing of Article 370 suggested that elections were related to the subject. I hope the SC touches upon the elections too in its final judgment,” he added.
Omar Abdullah also criticized the granting of bail to an Army captain convicted in the 2020 Amshipora fake encounter case, drawing attention to concerns over the justice system in the region. He cited worries about the electricity supply situation in Kashmir, stressing the need for immediate action to ensure the well-being of the residents.
Omar Abdullah said, “Innocent people are in jail in Kashmir. People facing minor charges do not get bail. On the other hand, the Army’s court martial itself found the captain was involved in the murder of three civilians from Rajouri in a staged encounter. However, all the procedures were set aside and he was granted bail easily. Don’t give out an impression that the blood of locals is cheap,” the NC leader said.
Earlier on Sunday, former Chief Minister and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti also expressed grave concern over the ongoing power crisis in Jammu and Kashmir.
“After August 5, 2019, we were politically disempowered… But the way in which the lives of common people have become, the way in which collective punishment is being given–the worst example of this is the situation of electricity this year… The electricity bill is increasing day by day,” Mufti said.
The PDP president also expressed concern over the frequent unscheduled power cuts and called for an end to such practices.
“The situation is so bad that electricity comes for a few minutes and goes away for hours. If this is the situation in the city, then it is worse in villages,” she added.
SC Judgment likely in December
The Supreme Court’s judgment on Article 370 is likely this year in the wake of one of the judges retiring in December. The judgment was reserved was reserved by a five-judge constitution bench after marathon hearing on a bunch of petitions in August this year. The Constitution bench comprises Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, and Surya Kant.