Srinagar: Speaking on the second day of the budget session in the Assembly, former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said that he accepted his failure during the 2010 uprising.
“I failed in 2010 and I am responsible, I have regrets, I accept that today,” Abdullah said and asked Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to do likewise and take responsibility for the killings and the repression that her government has presided over during the past six months in Jammu and Kashmir.
“What happened in 2010 was unfortunate and I am responsible for that as the CM. I could not tackle the situation…. but I did not blame Pakistan, separatists, and parents for allowing their children to come on roads,” Abdullah said in the Asssembly.
He also asked Mehbooba Mufti to clarify her position on the killing of Burhan Wani, whether it was planned or accidental.
‘’Your deputy CM told media persons in Katra that killing of Burhan was an accident, while another BJP leader demanded Ashok Chakra for the security personnel who killed Burhan. Can you clarify your stand?” Abdullah asked the chief minister.
He also criticised the statement of senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig that Burhan was killed by some police officers loyal to the National Conference (NC) to destabilise the PDP-BJP government and to embarrass Mehbooba Mufti.
“Statement of Muzaffar Hussian Baig was unjustified,” Abdullah said. He said that after hearing news of Burhan Wani’s killing, he tried to get information from the police on what steps the government had taken to deal with the anger of people and the uprising.
“We came to know that a casual approach had been taken to tackle the situation,” Abdullah said.
“Next day after the encounter, ADGP CID briefed the press that the CM had information about the encounter. Within an hour a contradictory statement was issued that the CM was not apprised of the encounter. Now who is speaking the truth?” Abdullah asked. “I again request that the CM should clear her stand over the killing of Burhan.”
He reiterated that if the killing of Burhan was an accident, then the anger of people is genuine.
Abdullah said that instead of stopping use of excessive force against people, Mufti held parents responsible for allowing their children to attack police stations and army camps. “Is this justice with them? She, too, is a mother. She should understand their pain,” Abdullah said.
“People want to see the same face of Mehbooba Mufti which she had shown them in 2001. Is she the same Mehbooba Ji who used to cry over the killing of militants, visit their homes and attend their funerals? Now she is justifying the killing of people by asking if they had gone to buy toffees and milk from security establishments?” Abdullah said.
“Your government did not ease restrictions even on the occasion of Eid. For the first time in the history of Kashmir, Jamia Masjid and Hazratbal shrine were sealed for Eid prayers. Only you and your government is responsible for the unprecedented uprising in which more than 100 people have lost their lives, scores have lost their vision in pellet firing, and thousands of people are injured,” Abdullah said.
On the gag over the local media, Abdullah held the government responsible.
“A police officer cannot dare to ban publication of newspapers, unless he is backed by the government. It clearly indicates who is responsible for the media gag,” he said.
He also raised questions over the killing of an ATM guard with an entire cartridge of pellets. “He was not part of any stone-pelting but was coming to his home after performing his duty. And the lecturer from Khrew who was dragged from his home and beaten mercilessly to death?” Abdullah asked. He said both these cases were clearly murder by men in uniform.
“Why are their killers not in jail?” he asked.
Omar said while Kashmir was on fire, the chief minister did not even try to reach out to the Opposition and by the time she called an All Party Meeting, it was “very late.”
“On the one hand, you talk of seeking our help, and on the other hand, blame us for 1987 (outbreak of militancy),” he said. “We did what you should have been doing for stopping killings, we (opposition parties) tried to do by knocking at the doors of New Delhi but you accused us of conspiring against you although it was you and Mufti (Muhammad Sayeed) sahab who in 2010 told Government of India to remove me from the government to set everything right in Kashmir.”
The NC Working President said they had gone to tell New Delhi to stop indiscriminate use of tear smoke shells and pellet guns and deal politically with the political issue of Kashmir.
Referring to the statement of PDP MP, Muzaffar Hussain Baig that Kashmiri youth were picking up guns for a pair of Shalwar Kameez, Omar said he wanted to know if the CM also believed in this statement despite visiting the families of the killed militants.