Omar Abdullah
Omar Abdullah

Withdrawal of security to Kashmiri separatists is regressive step: Omar Abdullah

ANI | Updated: Feb 21, 2019 16:26 IST

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Feb 21 (ANI): National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah on Thursday lashed out at the central and Jammu and Kashmir governments for withdrawing the security of Hurriyat leaders and others, and called it a “regressive step”.
“Withdrawal of security of separatist leaders is a regressive step: It is the duty of the state to provide security to its people. If anything happens, they will be held responsible for it,” Abdullah said during a press conference here.
Abdullah stated that the security has not been withdrawn only from the separatists but also main stream politicians, particularly at a time when the central government wants maximum participation in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
“My concern is about the withdrawal of security to mainstream political operators. On one hand, you are telling us that we have to be prepared for Parliament and the Assembly elections, on the other hand, you are telling us that we no longer deserve the protection of the state,” he added.
The state government had on Wednesday downgraded and withdrew the security of 18 Hurriyat leaders. According to the spokesperson of the Home Department, it was felt that providing security to these separatist leaders is wastage of scarce state resources, which could better be utilised elsewhere. This is in addition to four separatist leaders whose security was withdrawn on Sunday.
Besides them, the security of 155 political persons and activists, who did not require the security provided to them based on their threat assessment and their activities, was also withdrawn.
Among the leaders whose security has been downgraded and withdrawn are SAS Geelani, Aga Syed Mosvi, Maulvi Abbas Ansari, Yaseen Malik, Saleem Geelani, Shahid ul Islam, Zaffar Akbar Bhat, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, Farooq Ahmed Kichloo, Masroor Abbas Ansari, Aga Syed Abul Hussain, Abdul Gani Shah and Mohd Musadiq Bhat.
Meanwhile, Abdullah went on to criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Congress party for not speaking against the alleged harassment of Kashmiri people in various parts of the country.
“We were thinking that this matter will be investigated at the highest level… We thought the Prime Minister will condemn the (Meghalaya) Governor’s statement. We can understand that the Prime Minister must have been busy, but the Home Minister should have said that these things won’t work, strong actions will be taken against these people. But we only heard silence from their side and nothing else. (waha se hume khamoshi aur khamoshi ke alawa kuch aur sunne ko nahi mila). These people are taking advantage of our problem to take forward their political interests,” Abdullah said.
Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy on Wednesday stirred a hornet’s nest by expressing solidarity with the call given by a retired Army Colonel to “boycott everything that is Kashmiri” in view of the recent Pulwama terror attack.
Abdullah said, “While one Governor talked about ‘economical boycott’, another Governor (Kalyan Singh) talked about revoking Article 370. Why they didn’t say similar things during the attack in Chhattisgarh? So, what is our fault? Is it only because there are majority of Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir compared to other states? Will we be punished time and again for this?”
He added, “We didn’t hope much from BJP. We had hopes from the Prime Minister. We were hoping that he will say something keeping aside politics. While the Prime Minister is silent, it’s also sad that the biggest Opposition party’s leadership is also silent on this issue. We were hoping that at least words of moral support from Congress.” (ANI)