Srinagar: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Friday questioned the timing of Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s letter asking him to identify land for rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in the Kashmir Valley.
According to reports, the Home Minister has written to the Chief Minister expressing concerns over the plight of Kashmiri migrants and the need to bring them back to their homeland.
“It is unfortunate that at a time when we are trying to save human lives, they are talking of land. We can talk about the land anytime,” Omar told reporters in response to a question in this regard on the sidelines of his visit to flood affected Magam area in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
“Today our responsibility is to save the lives of those suffering due to rains, then save their livestock, rehabilitate affected persons. Entire paddy fields have got damaged. Fruit in orchards has been destroyed. After tackling the situation, we will appropriately respond to the letter if it has been sent. We are here to stay and not going anywhere. It is not appropriate time to discuss such issue.”
Omar also slammed the Home Minister for leaking the letter to media even before it has been received by him.
“I would have preferred that this letter should reach me first before discussion on it. It is not good that there discussion on the letter before it reaches me. I have always tried to issue statement only after the letter reaches the person to whom it is addressed by me. Here there is discussion on the letter even before reaching me. I don’t think I need the letter now, all that has been written would be known the moment I turn on the television channel. I don’t think I will look for the letter also.”
As per the reports, Rajnath has also mentioned Government of India’s committed to facilitate return of Kashmiri migrants to the Valley and their proper rehabilitation.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had in its poll manifesto promised that it would bring back Kashmiri Pandits to their homeland in a dignified manner.
Also, the party is desperately trying to make its presence felt in the state which is bound for Assembly elections later this year.
Meanwhile, Omar confirmed his conversion over telephone with the Home Minister regarding latter’s assurance of all help to the state in wake of the devastating flood in sixty years in the state.
“As soon as the scale of the problem become known, I received a call from the Home Minster, he assured us of any assistance that we require. NDRF forces were dispatched to the state, both to Jammu as well as Kashmir province. They have been deployed in the worst affected areas,” he said.
“I have commitment from the Home Minister as to any sought of financial assistance that we require. We already have some money is State Disaster relief fund. The cabinet which met yesterday has already released Rs 10 crores each for immediate operation in Kashmir and Jammu province.”