SRINAGAR: Former Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) Vice President Omar Abdullah reiterated the resilience of local political leaders in the face of movement restrictions imposed since August 2019, emphasising that such measures cannot sever their connection with the people.
He expressed concern over the resurgence of militant activities in the region, even in areas previously declared free of militancy.
Speaking at a party convention in Batote, Ramban district, Abdullah stated, “After August 5, 2019, it is a regular affair, and we have become habitual of it, but we have also learned how to dodge and fight back, and we will continue to do so.”
Regarding the recent attack on migrant laborers in Shopian district, South Kashmir, Abdullah questioned the BJP’s claims of improved conditions in the valley, stating, “We are repeatedly saying that if they claim that the situation has improved, then why not hold elections.” He further criticized the central government’s assertions of improved security, pointing to terror attacks in Shopian, Rajouri, and Poonch, questioning whether the claims are inaccurate or if the real situation is being overlooked.
The border districts of Rajouri and Poonch have experienced multiple attacks this year, resulting in the deaths of 10 soldiers and seven civilians. Abdullah remarked, “We are witnessing militancy in areas which were declared free of militancy. The attacks are unimaginable, and if such attacks are taking place, it is the failure of the government.”
Referring to a recruitment scam that came to light last year and is currently being investigated by the CBI, Abdullah highlighted the broken promises made to the people. He stated, “On August 2019, people were promised jobs. They came out with a list, canceled it the next day followed by an inquiry. Those who qualified for the jobs lost the opportunity and crossed the age limit.”
Regarding the government’s allocation of land to the homeless, Abdullah criticised the changes made to the state subject laws after August 2019, creating complications. He suggested that the government should establish a cutoff date of August 5, 2019, to determine the eligibility for the scheme, excluding those who arrived in the Union Territory after that date.
Abdullah expressed hope that the Supreme Court, which is set to hear petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370, will deliver justice to the citizens of Jammu & Kashmir.