Sonia Gandhi, Omar Abdullah blame unrest in Kashmir on Centre, PDP-BJP govt
Sonia Gandhi and Omar Abdullah called the unrest a failure of the state. CPI(M)’s Prakash Karat criticised Gen. Bipin Rawat’s regarding the army’s use of human shield.india Updated: Jun 06, 2017 21:35 IST
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday blamed the Centre and the PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir for the current unrest in the border state, accusing them of “colossal failure” and “systematically alienating” the local population in the Valley.
The fresh offensive by the Congress against the BJP over the crisis in Kashmir came even as former chief minister Omar Abdullah alleged that the Centre’s “unfortunate failure” to reach out and build bridges of reconciliation and peace with the youth in the Valley has created a political vacuum.
Emphasising that the current crisis in Jammu and Kashmir was due to the “colossal failure” of the government, Gandhi said the “insensitive” handling of the situation by both the state and central governments is systematically alienating and antagonising local population, especially the youth.
“A divisive agenda is being followed which has undone years of goodwill and progress,” she told a meeting of the Congress Working Committee(CWC) in New Delhi.
Addressing a youth convention of National Conference party in Srinagar, Omar said the youth of the state are being suffocated by the “repressive” policies of the PDP-BJP government while the looming uncertainty has created a sense of despair and hopelessness among them.
“The Central government’s unfortunate failure to reach out and build bridges of reconciliation and peace with our youth has created a political vacuum,” he said.
“The youth of the state are being suffocated by the policies of the present government. The looming uncertainty in the state coupled with the confrontational approach of the PDP-BJP government has created a sense of despair and hopelessness among the youth,” he claimed.
Referring to the unrest in the Valley, Omar said that in this grim atmosphere, the youth is being robbed of their right to dream of a dignified and prosperous future.
He said the youth is feeling cheated as promises made to them were either broken or unapologetically abandoned.
“The same promises were then bartered without any inhibitions for personal and familial political empowerment of a few people while our hardworking, honest and sincere young men and women were let down and left to the mercy of uncertainty and turmoil,” he said.
Due to this treachery, the trust deficit has been further widened to an extent where scepticism on the ground far overshadows the utility of any rhetoric the Government has to offer, the NC working president added.
Separately, the CPI(M) criticised army chief Gen.Bipin Rawat over his recent remarks defending use of human shield in Kashmir Valley, saying the comments reflected the views of the Modi government which “seeks to suppress” locals.
It claimed that the army and Kashmiris will suffer “irreparable damage” due to the government’s “blind” adherence to the use of “coercive” force against civilians in the Valley.
“Unfortunately, the army chief is reflecting the views of the Modi government which seeks to suppress the people of Kashmir, who are voicing their political protest, through the sole reliance on use of force,” former CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said.
Karat made the remarks in an editorial in the latest issue of party mouthpiece ‘People’s Democracy’. “Not only the people of Kashmir but the army itself will suffer irreparable damage due to the government’s blind adherence to the use of coercive force against the civilian population,” he added.
Speaking to PTI last week, Gen.Rawat had said that it would have been easier for the armed forces to deal with the protesters in the Valley had they fired weapons instead of hurling stones at the security personnel.
Rawat had also defended the actions of Maj.Leetul Gogoi, who had used a local Farooq Ahmad Dar, as a human shield.
Karat observed that Gen.Rawat allegedly made no distinction between young protestors throwing stones and armed militants. “To taunt protestors to take up arms, so that the army could deal with them appropriately is a needless provocation and displays an attitude which is unbecoming of a senior army officer,” he added.
Karat further said the army chief’s remarks exemplify “all that is with the way the Modi government is dealing with the situation there.” “The army chief of staff, by commending this act, has let down the high professional standards of the army,” the Marxist leader added.
First Published: Jun 06, 2017 20:40 IST