Former Jammu and kashmir chief minister accuses current CM of failing to assess Kashmir situation

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Omar Abdullah (L) alleged that Mehbooba Mufti's (R) government was 'shamelessly' trying to convey message of normalcy in the state hit by violence. Photograph:( Getty )

PTI Srinagar, India Jul 13, 2016, 10.19 AM (IST)

 Accusing the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir's chief minister Mehbooba Mufti's government of failing to assess the situation after Hizbul commander Burhan Wani's killing, National conference leader Omar Abdullah today said the PDP-BJP combine had "forgotten" the lessons of 2008 and 2010 when the Valley witnessed large scale protests.

The former chief minister also charged that Mehbooba Mufti was "shamelessly" trying to convey message of normalcy in the state hit by violence.

"I will not go into whether the situation is worse or not than 2008 or 2010. That is something you people have to decide. However, I feel that unfortunately, the lessons which we learnt in 2008 and 2010, the present government has forgotten them for some reasons," Omar told reporters here.

Abdullah was speaking to media after paying tributes to the martyrs of 1931 at Martyrs graveyard in Khawaja Bazar in downtown Srinagar.

Omar, who is the working president of the opposition National Conference (NC), said either the government's assessment of the situation after Wani's killing was wrong or their preparations were not right.

"Either the present government exhibited negligence in assessing the situation after Burhan's killing or they did not prepare for the situation. Some reason out of the two is true that either their assessment was wrong or their preparations were not right.So, it is the responsibility of the government to restore normalcy," he said.

The NC leader said it was the time to reach out to the Valley with a healing touch and requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to send specialist doctors to the Valley for treating the injured.

"Hon (Honourable) @narendramodi ji. After Kerala fire you carried a plane load of burn specialists with you.Please send eye/trauma specialists to Kashmir," he said.

"Please don't let the fact that these youngsters people have been injured in protests stop us from giving the best care possible.Thank you jenab," he said.

The NC leader also appealed to the Centre to order the forces to show restraint while dealing with the protests.

"I appeal the Centre to order the forces for exercising restraint and if people and forces can be ferried in planes, then what is the problem in getting medicine here.The news about dearth of emergency medicine is coming out of the hospitals.I request them to bring medicines and other such things in the planes in which forces are being brought.

"Our doctors must be tired now, how many hours can they work? Our operation theatres are overflowing, so I appeal them that normalcy cannot be restored by ferrying people in buses, we need some concrete steps like restraint and immediate assistance to hospitals," he said.

The former chief minister said he conveyed to home minister Rajnath Singh, who called him on Monday, that his party's political role to restore normalcy in the Valley would only start once the killings are stopped.

"I told the home minister that whatever our role would be in restoring normalcy, we would do that, but before that the spate of killings has to be stopped.Same statement of restraint has come from the UN secretary general as well.

"I told him that once there is restraint and killings stop, then we will lend our hand in playing a political role to create normalcy, but if anyone has played a role for the situation to reach this point, it is the present government and the biggest responsibility for restoring normalcy is of the government as well," he said.

Omar also said that normalcy cannot be restored by having the forces "attack" ambulances and the patients inside the hospitals.

"I told the home minister that the visual images that we get from social media or other ways which show that ambulances are attacked, patients are attacked in hospitals, the situation will not get better by such things but would rather get worse," he said.

He said the violence and the spate of killings was now shifting to other areas of the Valley and the government, rather than trying to restore normalcy, was allegedly staging a drama to give a semblance of normalcy.

"Every day there is news about killing of people from new areas. When it started, it was in south Kashmir only. Yesterday, such news came from Kupwara in north Kashmir. It is shameful that rather than using the police administration to restore peace, you saw in the morning how people were ferried here in police buses just to show to the chief minister that people had attended. While coming here, I was surprised to see people in police buses leaving the spot," he said.

Omar said if the government feels the need to stage a "drama of normalcy", then they cannot restore normalcy in the Valley.

"If in this situation, these people feel the need to stage a drama and if they do not learn even in such a situation and just to create an atmosphere of normalcy, they brought people in civil to the function, then, I feel, how can this government restore normalcy if they want to keep themselves oblivious of the ground realities," he said.

Later on Twitter, the NC leader charged that the government had misplaced priorities and was shamelessly trying to convey message of normalcy.

"Brazen shamelessness of the @MehboobaMufti #BJPDP Govt, ferrying people in police buses to state function to convey normalcy has returned," Omar wrote on Twitter.

The former chief minister said more than 30 people have died and all Mehbooba and her party want to do is put up party flags and get police to ferry people to her function.

Misplaced priorities that put theatrics and falsified public participation over and above the ground realities so as to befool bosses in Delhi, Omar charged.

The NC working president said the government should have rather focused on restoring calm in the Valley.

"Shameless Government should have been focused on restoring calm and on helping our doctors who are struggling to treat 1200+ injured people," he said.