Mufti architect of Gawkadal massacre, says Omar Abdullah

Greater Kashmir

Slams Centre, PDP for ‘playing politics’ on rehabilitation of flood victims

Srinagar, Jan 21: Former J&K Chief Minister and National Conference Working President Omar Abdullah Wednesday said the Peoples Democratic Party patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed is the “architect of Gawkadal massacre” and demanded setting-up of Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to establish the facts.  Omar also lashed out at the Centre and PDP on rehabilitation of flood victims.
“The architect of the #Gawkadal massacre negotiates his coronation & conveniently remains silent, choosing not to acknowledge this dark day,” Omar wrote on Twitter.
At least 50 civilians were killed on this day in 1990 when CRPF men opened fire on a procession at Gawkadal here. The people had hit streets to protest the excesses committed by the forces in Chota Bazar area a day before.
Omar demanded setting up of Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “Whether it’s the Kashmiri Pandit exodus or incidents like Gawkadal, they R why India & Pakistan owe J&K a truth & reconciliation commission,” he said in another tweet.
Omar had pressed hard for the T&RC during his election campaign in 2007 and 2008. However, he did not talk about it after becoming the Chief Minister.

On Wednesday, Omar toured his Beerwah Assembly constituency and asked the PDP and the central government to explain the rationale of demanding early elections to “allegedly” mitigate the sufferings of the flood victims.
“Now when the State is under the direct control of the Central Government, I fail to understand why the proposed Rs 44,000 crore Flood Relief Package submitted by the State Government to the Central Government remains an object of contemptuous neglect. What is stopping the Central Government now to match its efforts with its words?” Omar asked. “Who do they have trust issues with now? These are answers that hundreds and thousands of flood victims are keenly awaiting a reply to.”
Omar addressed people at Atina, Gundepora and Sonpah villages in Beerwah.
“At a time when the people of Kashmir have shown extraordinary resilience and character in uniting to fight against an unprecedented natural calamity, the attitude of neglect and indifference shown by the Central Government is extremely unfortunate. Enormous efforts need to be undertaken to rebuild thousands of homes, rebuild public infrastructure, rejuvenate our Tourism sector, our handicrafts sector and this callous approach towards these immediate needs is shocking to say the least,” he said.
Omar said a lot of flood victims will be able to survive the harsh winter because of the money released for rent for their alternate housing from the CM’s relief fund. “The State Government did everything possible with whatever resources it had. This natural calamity required a massive post-flood response from the Central Government in terms of immediate reconstruction of nearly a hundred thousand damaged houses, reviving devastated businesses and aiding in the reconstruction of public and private infrastructure. Rather than rising up to the occasion, some people chose to play politics over this collective misery instead. A typical example is how PDP played politics over the floods by asking for immediate early elections to mitigate the sufferings of the flood-victims only to tell us later that PDP was in no hurry to give the people of this State Government,” he said.
Omar said it would be a grave attempt by PDP to humiliate and disrespect the flood-victims by pretending that PDP was apparently bargaining on the flood-relief package in the process of Government Formation. “This is PDP’s way of seeking moral legitimacy behind smokescreens. Flood relief is a right of the flood-victims and PDP should know that this right cannot be exploited for its partisan interests,” Omar added.