Don’t create panic: Omar tells Army
Chief Minister Disagrees With GOC Over ‘Alarming Situation’ Perception
Srinagar, July 19: Taking strong exception to the recent statement by Army that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir was alarming, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday said if there is any problem it points to a failure in the security grid.
“There is no alarming situation (in Kashmir). The fact is that with every passing year militancy is declining and I don’t think that anybody should use such kind of words, particularly words like alarming,” Omar said told reporters after casting his vote in the presidential polls at the Legislature complex here.
“The use of words like alarming results only in creating panic among the people,” a visibly angry Omar said.
The chief minister was responding to a question about the statement of Lt General Om Prakash, GOC 15 Corps of the Army wherein he had termed some incidents in the Valley as alarming.
“The GoC (General officer Commanding) met me a day earlier and he did not mention anything about it,” Omar said and added that the GOC talked about infiltration attempts being made from across LoC. “That is nothing new,” he said.
Interacting with media last Tuesday, Lt Gen Om Prakash had said; “It is an alarming situation in view of some recent incidents of shootout at Pampore, Kulgam and Rajpora (in south Kashmir).”
Lt Gen Prakash also said there were civil intelligence reports that handlers were urging the militants to carry out suicide attacks on security forces in Kashmir.
However, Omar differed with the GOC’s statement. “As of now the situation is not alarming and if at all there is some problem it points to a failure in the security grid which needs to be discussed,” he said.
Omar said Kashmir is witnessing huge rush of tourists and Amarnath pilgrims and development works are going on. “I don’t think anybody should see this situation as alarming,” he said.
Omar has been critical of Army and intelligence agencies on several occasions in the past as well.
On April 20 this year Omar said he was not able to understand the “rigidity of the Army” in opposing AFSPA revocation even from areas where the situation has improved considerably.
“I don’t know why it’s becoming so difficult to convince Army on this issue. Honestly, I am not able to understand why their position is so rigid on it,” Omar had told Delhi-based Hindustan Times in an interview.
In October 2010, Omar had hit out at the intelligence agencies in connection with the situation in the Valley, saying the “intelligence network has completely deteriorated in the state and the inputs his government got (from the agencies) are not worth the paper these are printed on.”
“Often, the intelligence we get is not worth the paper it is printed on, and that’s a charitable way of putting it,” Omar had said in an interview to India Today magazine when asked whether he was not alerted by the intelligence agencies as protests spiraled in the Valley.
ON AFZAL GURU
Responding to a question on clemency for Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, Omar today said obviously that is an issue which would come across the table of Mukherjee as President. However he was quick to add that the President in this instance does not have much individual flexibility.
He said it would depend on the view that Government of India takes on the issue.
“We have made our position very clear with regard to particular instance you are talking about. And as and when the decision is taken, I hope it is taken keeping all those factors in mind,” Omar responded.
ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
Omar said victory of Mukherjee was expected even before polling for the presidential election began and the support of Trinamool Congress would now increase the margin of the victory.
He said Mukherjee would serve as one of the best presidents and it was difficult to oppose him in view of his contribution.
Omar said it was unfortunate that opposition-backed candidate PA Sangma stayed in the race even when he knew that he cannot win.
Omar said Sangma’s campaign for the presidential polls was not in consonance with the high office he was running for.
“Such kind of campaign is fine for Panchayat or assembly elections or parliament elections,” Omar said.
He said it would have better if Sangma would have left field and Mukherjee would have got opposed unelected as next President.
Apart from Congress, its coalition partner in the government National Conference, opposition Peoples Democratic Party and smaller parties and independent MLAs were supporting Mukherjee in his bid to become next President.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 19 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 19 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 20 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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