‘Nobody knows what is happening’: Omar Abdullah after meeting J-K guv

The Governor told the delegation led by Adbullah that he has no knowledge of any changes being deliberated regarding the constitutional provisions in the state.

National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah met governor Satya Pal Malik on Saturday amid tension in the state over the cancellation of Amarnath Yatra by the Centre; there are also concerns over the deployment of additional troops in Srinagar over the past week.

“We met him to know what is happening in Kashmir. Governor Satya Pal Malik reiterated yesterday’s assurance. We asked governor about 35A, 370 delimitation and trifurcation of the state. He (governor) assured that there is no forward movement on these issues. To assuage people, the Governor is going to issue a statement,” said Abdullah.

The Governor told the delegation led by Adbullah that he has no knowledge of any changes being deliberated upon regarding the constitutional provisions in the state.

“We wanted to know about the current situation in J&K. When we ask officials, they say something is happening, but nobody knows what is actually happening,” Abdullah told reporters.

The cancellation of the Amarnath yatra by the Centre and an alert issued to pilgrims and tourists to return home resulted in panic and a scramble for air tickets — the road from Srinagar to Jammu is closed on account of landslides — even as it unsettled residents of the valley and intensified speculation of a big move in the offing, perhaps the scrapping of Article 35A which restricts some benefits (such as government jobs and property ownership) to permanent residents of the state. Last weekend, the deployment of 100 companies of security forces (around 10,000 men) set off such speculation; HT learns that at least 150 more companies have now been deployed since.

Shortly after the NC leader’s press conference, governor Satya Pal Malik issued a statement saying that the security situation has developed in a manner which required immediate action. “There were credible inputs which were available to the security agencies regarding terrorist attacks on the Amarnath Yatra. There has been intensified shelling on the LOC by Pakistan which was responded to effectively by the Army. This was mentioned in the Press Conference yesterday afternoon by the Corps Commander of the Army and the DGP. Details of weapons and ammunition recovered were given. The seriousness of the threat required immediate action.’’

The statement said it is in this context that the government had issued an advisory asking yatris and tourists to return as soon as possible. “These are a vulnerable group of people who do not know the area and are extremely vulnerable to a terrorist or a fidayeen attack. It is the responsibility of the state to provide security to all its citizens. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, yatris and tourists have been asked to return. This is to ensure that no terrorist attack takes place on them. Therefore, security to its citizens has to be provided by the State, even at some inconvenience which is being done.’’

Post meeting the governor, the NC leader said that he would like the Centre to make a statement on the issue.

“The governor isn’t the final word on J&K. The final word on J&K is the government of India. Therefore, more than what Governor tells us publicly, I definitely would like to hear from government of India publicly that there is nothing people have to worry about,” said Abdullah, who led a delegation of NC leaders to the Raj Bhawan this afternoon.

Source: Hindustan Times


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