Without naming Syed Ali Geelani, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday said that people of Sopore have attached themselves with a person who could never fulfill their wishes. “That man (Geelani) is a ‘dream merchant’ who exploited people of Sopore on the name of freedom and Self-Determination. Stone-pelting in Sopore has become a common phenomena in Sopore because of that person (Geelani),” Omar Abdullah said.
Addressing a gathering in North Kashmir’s Hathi-Shah hamlet of Sopore town, Omar Abdullah said that due to militancy and stone-pelting it was impossible for the Government to start developmental projects in Sopore. “I am not forcing you people to join National Conference but our party will welcome those who would come into the fold of National Conference,” Omar said.
As Omar Abdullah was addressing people, an old lady from the crowd stood up and started yelling and crying. “My son was killed but no investigation was taken up to expose the killers. I was not given a penny as compensation,” she cried. Securitymen whisked the women away and finally NC provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani assured her that her all grievances would be redressed. It was not immediately known who was the woman as the security officials present on venue did not allow scribes to go close to the dais where she was having conversation with Nasir Aslam Wani.
Referring to the lagging behind of Sopore town in the development process, the Chief Minister said that this is because of the reason that people of the town during the last twenty five years were kept out of the ambit of peace and development. “Instead of showcasing the historic characteristics of Sopore, its natural wealth, scenic beauty and world famous apple, this town has been introduced as the resort of, violence, militancy, stone-pelting and peace disturbance”, he said and told the people to shed this artificial face implanted on Sopore during the last twenty to twenty five years.
“It was my desire to address you here and make you aware of the losses you and your progeny is being put by the negative politics and ask you to rise to the occasion and decide for yourself to make your destiny bright and prosper”, he said and disclosed that for the long history of disturbance in Sopore, the security agencies were not in favour of him holding the public meeting at Sopore. “But ignoring the advisory I am talking to you frankly because you are as dear to me as the rest of the J&K people residing across the state”, he said and added that he wanted Sopore to be as developing a town as Srinagar, Anantnag, Shopian, Kulgam and other districts of the valley.
Omar said that despite the negative politics played in Sopore town and keeping people away from development, his government took all measures to ensure equitable growth in this northern town of Kashmir known for its horticulture produce.
During the rally MLA Sopore and NC leader Haji Muhammad Ashraf Ganaie held a top police official responsible for the low gathering. “This police official did not allow people to move towards venue. On the name of security checks and arrangements, people were forced to retreat back,” Ganaie said emotionally.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah while defending the police official said that it was decision of administration to have foolproof security arrangement in the town.
Soon after meeting a delegation at Dak Banglow, Omar Abdullah told reporters that it is useless to debate on Article 370 at a time when even the Election Manifesto of BJP has not hit the stands.