J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah met a delegation of Sikhs on Saturday and said the threat letters against them should not be construed as the voice of the majority in the state but the handiwork of mischievous elements.
Abdullah emphasised that he was proud of the secular credentials of the people of the valley who had always withstood such attempts to create a wedge between communities, a government spokesperson said.
“The members of the delegation said their Muslim brethren in the Valley have always showered love upon them for centuries, particularly during the last two decades of turbulence,” the spokesperson said.
The opposition PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said an attempt had been made to malign Kashmiri society through unfounded reports of threat to minorities.
She said the reports of unidentified threat letters to Sikhs had caused pain and anger throughout the Valley as these were widely viewed as part of a deliberate campaign to demonise Kashmiris, who were already facing a threat to their lives and dignity.
“Any country would feel proud of the smoothness of the Amarnath yatra in highly disturbed conditions,” she said, referring to Hindu pilgrimage to the Amarnath shrine.
The two leaders’ comments came as curfew was again clamped in Srinagar and other towns of Kashmir to prevent protests on Saturday, a day after two youngsters were killed by security forces. Sixty-one people have been killed in the state in the current phase of unrest that started on June 11 when a teenager was killed in police action.
Jaitley slams PM
At a function to mark the BJP’s Kashmir Bachao Diwas, party leader Arun Jaitley called PM Manmohan Singh a “weak PM” and said his government lacked the will to tackle the ongoing Kashmir crisis.
He accused the Centre of bias against Leh, alleging that while R125 crore was spent on the cloudburst, the estimated cost of government ads marking Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary was R150 crore.
Calling all talk of autonomy a “post-dated cheque on independence”, he said: “To convert autonomy into azaadi is a stone’s throw away for the separatists because of a weak PM.”
HTC, New Delhi