Will withdraw all cases against youth booked for stone-pelting: Omar

National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah Saturday said that his party will withdraw all cases registered against stone-throwing street protesters if the party is voted to power in the Assembly elections.

“I have already stated in some of the rallies in northern Kashmir that our party will withdraw all cases against the youth charged in stone throwing cases if we are elected to power,” Omar said.

Omar was speaking to media persons after addressing NC workers at Dak Bungalow Khanabal, where he campaigned for party’s candidate for Anantnag parliamentary seat, Hassnain Masoodi.

Omar reiterated that the NC government will also revoke the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA).

On allegations levelled by People’s Conference chief Sajad Gani Lone about his meeting in New Delhi with BJP president Amit Shah after the results of  2014 assembly elections, wherein he had pledged support to the right-wing party, Omar said, “No comments.”

Omar also claimed that his party will emerge victorious on the Baramulla parliamentary seat by a huge margin and were hoping to repeat the performance in the other two seats of the Valley.

“I will appeal people in the south to come out and vote as this boycott won’t favour NC,” he said.

Omar also lashed out at Mehbooba Mufti for her anti-BJP rhetoric, saying she did not find a fault with the party when was in alliance with them.

“Was everything hunky-dory then? Weren’t Muslims outside lynched and roasted to death when she was in alliance with them? Weren’t Kashmiri youth studying outside harassed then and was not it only during her stint as CM that it was decided that youth with stones in their hands will be treated as militants,” Omar asked.

He said, had she (Mehbooba) left the chair then, he would have been all praise for her.

“However, she would then gift shawl and bouquets to the same Amit Shah against whom she has launched tirade these days. She did not kick out the chair but was rather thrown out,” Omar said.

Reminding PDP of the support his party had offered after the 2014 assembly election results, he challenged Mehboba to point out even a single thing in PDP-BJP’s Agenda of Alliance that was implemented.

“Our party and Congress offered unconditional support to PDP, requesting them that BJPs entry into Muslim majority J&K will have dangerous repercussions. We even made it clear that we do not need ministerial berth, MLC or Rajya Sabha berths.

But Mufti Muhamad Sayeed did not listen to us arguing that he has to get funds from the center, relief for flood victims, get power projects back from New Delhi and facilitate talks with Hurriyat and Pakistan. All these were demands were later drafted in AOA. Today I challenge Mehbooba to show me one thing in the AOA that was implemented. Was AFSPA revoked, were footprints of army reduced and were talks initiated with Pak or Hurriyat?”  Omar said.    

In fact, he said, harassment, crackdown became routine in her tenure as CM and even religious leaders were not spared.

“NIA was used to harass and intimidate the separatists. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq sahib was interrogated by the agency for three days. In whose tenure was the case registered against him in 2017. I was not CM then, neither was Farooq sahib or Azad Sahib. It was you (Mehbooba). Why did not you raise a hue and cry then?” Omar said.

Omar also questioned the wisdom of the people of Anantnag assembly segment for electing her in 2016 following the demise of her father.

“People of Anantnag assembly constituency committed a blunder by electing Mehbooba Mufti in June 2016. You were hoping she would alleviate poverty, bring peace and development and work for marginalized. But it proved detrimental to the people of the state and we are still suffering its repercussions,” he said.

“On June 25 she became MLA and on July 8 the valley erupted following the killing of Burhan Wani and then came toffee-milk remarks when this representative from Anantnag was asked about the killings and blinding of children”.

Terming NC candidate for Anantnag seat, Hassnain Masoodi – a retired High Court judge – as the best bet, Omar said only he would be able to fight the conspiracies being hatched against eroding the special status of J&K, both in Lok Sabha and in the Supreme Court.

“Whenever NC has been out of power in J&K, conspiracies were launched to erode the special status of J&K. Today same thing is being repeated and attempts are being made to abrogate Article 370 and 35A.  In those trying circumstances only representatives like Masoodi sahib can foil those nefarious designs,” Omar said.

“Masoodi sahib’s legal acumen and some of the judgments he gave on Article 370 have been praised by everyone. Even I seek suggestions from him when I have to issue statements on these pretentious issues. In those trying circumstances only representatives like Masoodi Sahib can fight those conspiracies. And not those who when given chance to speak in Parliament will try to save their skin, by saying Mein Kya Bolun,” he said, apparently referring to PDP chief’s remarks in the Lok Sabha during her stint as MP.

On the occasion, Masoodi termed the PDP- BJPs rule as the most repressive regime and blamed it for neglecting southern districts of Kashmir.

He assured he would work on a comprehensive development and tourism packages for south Kashmir and propose a Law University in Anantnag.

Senior NC leader and provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani also addressed the workers and hoped that south Kashmir would also again turn bastion of the party.

“I hope South Kashmir will once again be a stronghold of NC as it was before 2002,” Wani said.