SRINAGAR: National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah on Saturday said that the situation in Kashmir was not normal and lashed out at the J&K government for lying that Kashmiri Pandits were leaving the valley because of winter.
Quoting Omar Abdullah newspaper Hindustan Times reported that Pandits living in a village in Shopian and employees working under the Prime Minister’s package have left for Jammu owing to the deterioration of the situation in the valley.
“They have left the village, locked their homes and have gone to Jammu. They are not alone in that. The government employees came back after being recruited under the Prime Minister’s package, and there were attempts to settle them back, but the situation became so bad that they were forced to go back to Jammu. It is unfortunate and what is more unfortunate is that the current government here doesn’t want to do anything regarding this,” the newspaper quoted Abdullah as having said.
Following the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit Puran Krishan Bhat, a fruit cultivator, near his home in the Chowdhary Gund area of Shopian district on October 15, fear has engulfed the district. Although there are reports that around 10 families from the village have left, the district administration, Shopian, issued a rebuttal saying, “leaving of Kashmiri non-migrant Hindu population at Chodrigund Shopian was baseless”. It said that “due to the onset of winter and after the harvesting period is over, many families migrate to Jammu and that there are no instances of migration due to fear in the district”.
The former chief minister accused the government of telling a lie. “If the situation is normal here, why were they compelled to leave? And then telling lies to the media. Suddenly now, they felt the cold. Neither did Chillai Kalan (harsh Kashmir winter, which starts December 20) start nor are they talking about winter,” he said.
He ridiculed the government for claims that post-August 5, 2019, the issue in J&K won’t remain. “If there is no issue, why are these posters showing up? There is something behind this,” he said.
He said, “The current government, besides doing something about this, first needs to acknowledge that the situation is not good or normal, which they are claiming,” he said.
Omar said that the government was boastful about tourist arrivals but was lying about the numbers. “Lie after lie is being said that these many crore tourists have come. Although, we know that they are also counting yatris in the tourist numbers. By shouting tourism and tourism, they think the situation is normal here,” he said.
He said that the government needs to accept that the problem exists. “The youth here are angry, and they need to be brought into the mainstream. Bring them. We will also help. We have always tried to improve the situation here,” Hindustan Times quoted Omar as having said.