‘You do not like each other in cabinet and it costs J&K,’ Omar tells the Chief Minister, suggests quick introspection

by Tahir Bhat

JAMMU: Former Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Friday alleged that the government has failed to maintain the peace in the state. He said it has also failed in managing the government well.

Invoking a Greek myth about Eros and Psyche, Omar tried explaining the resourcefulness and powerfulness of the state government in lieu of the sale of its soul; it once carried, to the centre. He suggested Ms Mufti opt for Tapasiya.

While speaking on the grants of the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Omer said it is now routine of government to cage people in their homes every Friday. It imposes curfew restrictions every Friday and mosque remained locked, he said.

“It was the first time that in your government people were barred to offer the Eid prayers as you imposed a curfew,” Omar said. “Now suspending internet is just a routine.”

In Shopian killings case, Omar said the Chief Minister asserted the FIR registered against the army would be taken to the logical conclusion. “What logical conclusion will you give to Shopian case when 47 out of 50 requests for prosecution of armed forces have been rejected by centre since 2000 and three are pending,” mar said, in his long speech that was heard by pin drop silence by all. “SIT should be formed in Shopian case in view of Army’s counter FIR.

Omar said J&K sent 50 requests to the Centre for action against various security forces involved in human rights violation in the state. “All the requested were rejected by the Delhi and I request CM to check what happens with the previous investigation,” Omar said. He raised the Machil fake encounter and asked about the follow-up.

“I am shocked that till now the government has not provided a medical report of an innocent minor girl of Kathua rape and murder case,” Omar said. “When Asiya and Nelofer were killed in Shopian, you every day raise the issue and went everywhere to lead the protest against the government. What are you doing now?”

Seeking explanations from the Chief Minister over the announcement of major policy decisions from the central government, Omar said it was disheartening that announcement for the amnesty to stone pelters was made by Dineshwar Sharma, Delhi’s point man for Jammu and Kashmir. He urged the Chief Minister to ensure that announcements on major policy decisions come from her and other cabinet ministers but not from the central government, as the same would restore the institutional credibility of the Chief Minister and the state cabinet.

Hitting out at Chief Minister for bulldozing her political agenda comprising self rule, dual currency, troop withdrawal and troop reduction, Omar said that though Pakistan is responsible for lot of troubles the people of Jammu and Kashmir are facing that country can’t be blamed for every mess the rulers in Jammu and Kashmir have themselves created and now opportunity for course correction has come to Mehbooba Mufti the incumbent ruler.

Questioning the chief minister for pledging to take the investigation of Shopian killings to the logical conclusion, Omar exhorted her to start investigations through a special investigation team (SIT) to probe FIR’s filed in case of army firing that resulted in the killing of five civilians.

Reminding Chief Minister that she would always cry much over the killing of Shopian woman in 2009, and brought people on the streets to protest the inaction of the government, Omar Abdullah said how can the opposition believe her on the promise of taking the investigation to logical conclusions when out of 50 requests about the excesses of paramilitaries and army not even a single case was taken on priority and resolved by the central government. Omar said so far “we don’t have seen any headway in the investigation of civilian killings.

Questioning the working of the planning department, Omar claimed that against the proposed 600 crore plan the government has only 60 crores at its disposal and asked the government to explain where from the remaining 540 crores will come.

Asking the government to fast-track the process of the reengagement of the disengaged police wireless operators and withdraw SRO 202 to give new recruits the benefit of full salary, Omar told the chief minister that the steps would give big relief to the youth hunting for government jobs.

Questioning the Mehbooba government’s way of running the top institutions of the state like district development boards and the state cabinet, Omar said the transfers of top officials ordered through rotation of files without the cabinet has eroded the sanctity of the cabinet and district development boards have been bypassed by taking the route of public darbars for implementation of major decisions which as per the institutional arrangement have to be taken by the district development boards.

Omar also questioned the moral and political right of the chief minister to take on board the defeated candidates and ex-MLA’s of her party and bypass the sitting MLA’s of the opposition parties during public darbars. Omar revealed that he was offered 20 out of 50 fair price shops by a top CAPD officer in his constituency and the ex-MLA of the same constituency (Beerwah) was offered 50 fair price shops.

“Your GAD website is a transfer portal,” Omar said. “You have been doing many things through circulation and recently there was an effort to manage a huge tender through circulation as well.” Omar insisted: “You do not like each other in the cabinet but it has huge costs for the state.”

National Conference working president and leader of the opposition in the assembly Omar Abdullah here on Friday exhorted his successor to save her political soul from BJP’s hellfire and dared her to choose the path of course correction by fast-tracking the investigations on civilian killings, restore the institutions like District Development Boards and state cabinet, stop building political cadres under the garb of SPO appointments, speed up re-engagement of disengaged police wireless operators and withdraw the SRO 202 implemented wrongly by the previous NC-Congress coalition government headed by Omar himself.

Omar Abdullah during his speech on the motion of grants for the Home Department said that BJP has offered every concession to chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to buy her political soul and dip her down in a river where from she can’t come out. BJP has chosen to remain silent on the failure chief minister in the conduct of Anantnag parliamentary by-elections, attack on Amarnath Yatra, corruption breeding ground, increase in the share of PDP in the coalition ministry and much more.

Claiming that he himself had taken the case of Machil encounter to a decisive stage but the same has gone out of focus under the present government. “I myself had persuaded then central government to take action against one CRPF man for a punishable offence,” Omar said.

Raising the issue of tying a civilian Farooq Dar to a jeep by the army during parliamentary by-polls in Budgam district, Omar sought clarifications from the Chief Minister on the compensation that was to be offered to the civilian.

“You didn’t compensate him because that would prove army was guilty,” he said adding that it was better for Farooq Dar to be a stone-thrower because then the Hurriyat would have owned him. “In my consistency army tied a civilian to the bonnet of a jeep who cast vote and used him as a human shield. Shame,” Omar said.

Omar suggested the government should elaborate the facts about who are second-time offenders of stone pelting and clear the amnesty policy. He questioned the state plans of holding Panchayat polls in the state in the prevailing security situation.

Omar said the answers to the issues do not lie in criticizing the predecessor for the mistakes they might have committed. “We have committed our mistakes, why should you repeat them,” he asked. “The story in which you are in has a predictable end but you can change it and avoid BJPs hellfire.”

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