June 1, 2023

Vice President of the National Conference of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Former J&K Chief Minister and Vice President of the National Conference (NC) Omar Abdullah on Monday warned against the lieutenant governor’s administration’s move to end government services for relatives of militants and separatist leaders in Kashmir.

This is not the way to win the hearts and minds of people. No one is in favor of giving notorious militants government positions, but it is also wrong to punish someone just because he has the misfortune of being associated with a terrorist. It’s not something we’ll ever support.” said Abdullah, who is touring the Jammu region.

He said the terrorists were not given jobs at J&K, referring to a recent statement made by LG Manoj Sinha. “However, we did not punish people for being relatives of terrorists. Is it fair of me to punish you for the crime committed by your father or son? If, God forbid, a close relative of Mr. Sinha Sahab commits a crime, should he be sent to prison?” Mister. Abdullah said.

The former chief minister said that the law of natural justice is not that relatives are punished for the crimes of others. “It is very unfortunate that in Kashmir people are being punished for the crimes of others,” he added.

He said that people living in J&K are concerned today. “No one knows when a new order to deprive people of their lands will be issued by the ruling power,” he said. Abdullah said.

Speaking against the government over Gujarati ‘swindler’ Kiran Bhai Patel receiving security cover during his time in Kashmir, Mr Abdullah said: “He told the government here that he works for the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office), they didn’t even try to figure it out. My former minister, who has faced attacks, will not receive an escort car even if he asks with folded hands.”

He also targeted LG’s management for bringing in blacklisted Aptech Limited to handle J&K’s selection process. There needs to be an investigation into who brought Aptech here and where the fraud took place. The youth must be sure that their future will not be played with,” he said.

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