‘Don’t want repeat of last summer’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘Don’t want repeat of last summer’

Facing a litmus test this Republic Day on which the BJP plans to hoist the national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said violence in Kashmir was not in the national interests.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2011 23:23 IST
Toufiq Rashid

Facing a litmus test this Republic Day on which the BJP plans to hoist the national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said violence in Kashmir was not in the national interests.

After being severely shaken by last year’s summer unrest, in which 112 people were killed, Omar has opposed the Bharatiya Janata Party move to make sure nothing triggers another cycle of violence or deaths in the Valley.

“I have been put in a position where my biggest responsibility is to ensure a peaceful Kashmir,” Abdullah told HT. “This is important as a violent Kashmir is not in the national interests,” he added.

Abdullah, accused by the BJP of being ‘anti-national and pro-separatist’, said: “We don’t want a repeat of last year’s summer.”

However, the chief minister’s political rivals in the Valley have termed his sparring with the BJP a ‘fixed match’.

With sources pointing to the likelihood of Lal Chowk remaining out of bounds on January 25 and 26, Abdullah said the decision on imposing curfew was for the local police to take. “The decision would be taken by my field commanders, its for them to decide what is required in a particular situation,” he added.