Anantnag: Former Chief Minister and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah on Sunday questioned the denial of rights of children of J&K at par with that of Ladakh and said that there are two separate sets of state subject laws for the two Union Territories. “Centre is treating the people of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir differently over protection of their land and reservation in jobs and scholarships, and demanded equal treatment. We were told that the aim of abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, is that there will be one order (system) across the country,” Omar asked.
“After Jammu and Kashmir was stripped of its autonomous status and split into two Union Territories, the laws for jobs, scholarships, voting and land rights continue to be the same as they were prior to August, 5 in Ladakh. However, here in Jammu and Kashmir outsiders can purchase land, get jobs, scholarships and contracts,” Omar said while addressing a workers convention at Dak Bangalow, Anantnag.
He questioned the discriminatory approach of the government. “ If that law is fine for Ladakh, why such discrimination in the case of JK., ?” he asked
“ If their youth have future so have ours,” Omar said that nomadic people who have been living in forests for decades along with their livestock are being evicted from forests
“ People are being snatched away the land given to them under Roshni Act whether in Kashmir or Jammu,” he said.
Omar said those in Jammu who celebrated following the abrogation of article-370 and 35 A is questioning the government on the change it bought.
“ The ruling dispensation had created a euphoria the article was an impediment in the development of JK. It has been two and half years where is the development? he asked.
Omar said all the development projects were taken up by previous regimes.
“ Whether it is a highway, rail, tunnel or power projects, creation of new Tehsils, Nayabats, districts all were executed during our tenure or in Congress and Ghulam Nabi Azad's reign,” he said.
Omar said the government's claim of eradicating militancy after doing away with article 370 has proved to be rhetoric.
“ The militancy is very much there and in fact, those areas which were peaceful in our tenure are now under the grip of militancy,” he said.
Omar said that the Panchayat representatives, councilors, BDC, and DDC members have been locked up in government accommodations.
" I have been getting frantic calls from those putting up in a college hostel in Anantnag pleading for help to get them away from there".
“ If the situation was so bad why did you at first place encourage them to contest elections or you wanted to play with their lives,” he asked.
He said that even in his tenure Panchayat elections were he but the representatives were working on the ground and available to the service of people.“ These Panchayat representatives now want to flee to Jammu,” Omar said.
Later speaking to media persons, Omar said that every effort to weaken the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration would be foiled.
“ PAGD is an eyesore to our government and conspiracies have always been hatched to weaken it. Even they succeeded in separating few of our members from us. However, we are aware of this and are ready to defeat their designs,” he said.
Omar said that the alliance would continue to fight for the restoration of rights and even change strategy if the need arises.
He also condemned the statements and decision of the Haryana Chief Minister not allowing the Muslims to offer Friday prayers in a public space in Gurgaon.
“ India’s constitution allows everyone to practice his own religion. If there would have been restrictions it should then be on every religion. But here it seems that our particular religion is being tolerated which is condemnable,” Omar said. He said the people of JK acceded to secular, tolerant, and democratic India.
Meanwhile, as per a party statement Abdullah addressing the workers said the real purpose of August 5, 2019 decisions, “continue to remain a mystery”.
While addressing a party convention at Dak Bungalow, Khanabal Anantnag he said, “Different grounds were given for undertaking these decisions across the country and worldwide. The impression given out was that the Articles 370 and 35 -A were the major stumbling block to development, achieving peace, stamping out separatism and corruption. All said and done, what is it that has been achieved? I posed the same question to the people in the Chenab region yesterday at Baramulla. If truth be told, there isn't anything.”
“Much of the infrastructure, roads, hospitals, administrative headquarters, railways, the utility services and educational institutes existed before August 05, 2019. Let them show a single building, road, university, hospital that has come up post August 2019. There is nothing to show. Where is that dawn that was promised on August 05 decisions would usher in?” adding, “Situation is no different in Jammu. People who celebrated the August 5,2019 decisions there by bursting crackers and distributing sweets have lost their sleep, worrying over the future of their kids.” Omar said.
Omar castigated the administration for trying to "score propaganda and public relations victories rather than focus on the ground realities”. "The situation is such now that the militancy has returned to areas, which were declared militancy free. We removed 40 bunkers from Srinagar during our tenure, and forces imprint was also brought down in wake of the improvement in the situation on ground. But now the bunkers have returned, so has the forces imprint. Militancy has returned to the pockets, which were declared militancy free. Let alone repealing of AFSPA, more stringent laws like UAPA have been brought in. NIA and SIA are a few more additions to the list. Will any of these measures be taken for the return of peace? Is it?" he asked.
Exhorting the party functionaries, workers to make the party stronger at grassroots he said that current reach out involving Chenab valley and valley districts is aimed to close gaps and be thick with the issues concerning people, workers, delegates. “I am not canvassing for votes neither have we declared any candidates, nor has the manifesto been released. Our public outreach shouldn't be misread as canvassing. The election trumpet hasn't been blown yet. Whenever it is we will again seek the audience of our people, our workers, our delegates," he said.
On issues related to self-governance, he said, “The powers of these institutions have been diluted. PRIs are being caged and not allowed to step out. I've been receiving calls from these Sarpanchs, Panchs, and other Block council members. They cry of step motherly treatment. All they are asking the government is to allow them to migrate to Jammu. Most of these Councilors and Sarpanchs are independents, which puts them in a more precarious situation. Those who are associated with the ruling party or their local accomplices are being given the required permission, while the same is being denied to independent ones. How can they work in this atmosphere? At least in our times these grass root level councilors were able to move freely."
GS Ali Muhammad Sagar, Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani, State Secretary Sakina Itoo, South Zone President Dr Bashir Veeri, District President Altaf Ahmed Wani, Advisor to VP Tanvir Sadiq, Provincial VPs Syed Tauqeer Ahmad, Ahsan Pardesi, Spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar, YNC Provincial President Salman Ali Sagar, Reyaz Khan, Peer Muhammad Hussain, Suhail Beg, YNC Zone President Feroze Shah, YNC DP Syed Saba Shafi, Umesh Talashi, DDC Chairman M Yousuf Gorsi, were also present on the occasion.