‘Why was PM Modi, Congress silent’: Omar Abdullah on attacks on Kashmiri students

Updated on Feb 21, 2019 04:23 PM IST

Several Kashmiri students have been suspended from their colleges and even arrested for alleged “anti-national” activities across India.

New Delhi, India - February 1, 2019: NCP Leader Majeed Memon, NC leader Omar Abdullah and Samajwadi Party MP Ram Gopal Yadav during the Opposition’s ‘Save the Nation, Save Democracy’ meeting, at Constitution Club, in New Delhi, India, on Friday, February 1, 2019. (Photo by Sonu Mehta / Hindustan Times)(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
New Delhi, India - February 1, 2019: NCP Leader Majeed Memon, NC leader Omar Abdullah and Samajwadi Party MP Ram Gopal Yadav during the Opposition’s ‘Save the Nation, Save Democracy’ meeting, at Constitution Club, in New Delhi, India, on Friday, February 1, 2019. (Photo by Sonu Mehta / Hindustan Times)(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday spoke against the attacks on Kashmiri students across the country after last week’s Pulwama terror attack, saying they were being targeted under a “well thought out conspiracy”.

Several Kashmiri students have been suspended from their colleges and even arrested for alleged “anti-national” activities across India.

Some have even alleged they were harassed and asked by their landlords to vacate accommodations, fearing attacks on their properties after the strike in Pulwama. Forty CRPF personnel were killed in the south Kashmir district on February 14, in a terror attack allegedly carried out by banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Omar Abdullah slammed the government as well as the Congress party, asking why were they silent on the incidents reported in various states of India.

“There was no condemnation from the Prime Minister on Kashmiri students being attacked. If he was busy, then the home minister could have said something. Even Congress didn’t say anything comforting,” the National Conference leader said during a press conference.

“An entire community is being given a bad under a well thought out conspiracy. Kashmiri girls and boys who are studying in universities in other states are being targeted,” Omar Abdullah said.

“Our children who are studying in universities have nothing to do with politics and they just want an education,” he said.

Omar Abdullah praised Captain Amarinder Singh and Mamata Banerjee, chief ministers of Punjab and West Bengal respectively, for extending help to Kashmiris being attacked in their states. They are not pushing the incidents under the carpets, he said.

He has earlier raised the issue of a Kashmiri shawl vendor who was attacked on Tuesday in West Bengal’s Nadia district. He said Mamata Banerjee has assured of action against those who beat up Javid Amad Khan.

The video of Khan, in which he is seen being forced by a mob to raise anti-Pakistan slogans in Taherpur and asked to leave West Bengal along with other Kashmiris working in the state, has become viral on social media.

The Kashmiri leader also criticised the joint statement issued by India and Saudi Arabia during the visit of its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s to New Delhi. It had called on “all countries to renounce the use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy”. It made no mention of Pakistan’s role in this regard – something India has been pushing for with its key allies after the February 14 attack.

“We have never supported violence and terrorism. We have talked about peace and brotherhood. We have only vouched for a solution through dialogue. When we talk of dialogue we are branded anti-nationals but in a joint statement with Saudi Arabia, the two leaders talk about composite dialogue,” he said.

Omar Abdullah also talked about the withdrawal of security to 18 separatist leaders from the Hurriyat, including SAS Geelani, and 155 political personalities and activists in the restive state.

“On one hand, you’re telling us that we have to be prepared for the parliamentary and assembly elections and on the other hand, you’re telling us that we no longer deserve the protection of the state.”

Before this, Omar Abdullah and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti had urged the Union government on Monday to ensure the safety of Kashmiris amid continuing reports of attacks and threats.

“Intimidating Kashmiris is aimed at creating a wedge between different communities in India. We should not allow the terror to divide us. By using such incidents to divide us, we fall into the trap of those behind the attack on CRPF [Central Reserve Police Force] soldiers; we are wittingly or unwittingly playing to the tunes of our enemies,” the leaders said in a statement.

Also read: Ensure safety of Kashmiris, say ex-CMs Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah

The matter has also reached the Supreme Court, which on Thursday agreed to hear a PIL seeking a direction to authorities to protect Kashmiri students on Friday.

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