Accept responsibility for Kashmir unrest deaths: Omar tells CM

Jammu, Jan 3 (IANS) National Conference chief Omar Abdullah on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and asked her to accept responsibility for the civilian deaths during the six-month unrest in the Kashmir Valley last year the way he did when he was heading the state government in 2010.

After Speaker Kavinder Gupta allowed an adjournment motion moved by the opposition, the former Chief Minister said there was unrest in the valley also in 2008 and 2010 but “we did not blame the opposition” for that.

“The situation in 2010 cannot be compared with that of 2016,” he told the house.

“We did not blame Pakistan or the opposition for the situation. I did not blame my officials in 2010. In 2016, the media was attacked and newspaper offices were raided. We made mistakes and I accepted making mistakes while handling the situation.”

Taking a dig at Mehbooba, Abdullah said: “You blamed Jawaharlal Nehru, my father, my grandfather and police for militancy in the state.”

“Did you ever blame yourself for your failure to restore normalcy in Kashmir?”

Abdullah said the state government had completely failed in dealing with the situation after the killing of militant Burhan Wani on July 8 last year.

Instead of blaming the opposition, the Chief Minister should accept the responsibility for the failure of her administration and the killings of nearly 100 civilians during the unrest, he said.

Abdullah later lashed out at Mehbooba for not participating in the debate.

“Rather than reply to the discussion, she preferred to fly out so she could lay a handful of foundation stones in the valley tomorrow,” the former chief minister tweeted.

“It shows her complete lack of concern for the victims, her uncaring attitude and her total disdain for the sanctity of the assembly of J&K.”

“She used the state’s plane and could’ve flown out later this evening or early tomorrow morning. She chose to dodge the house and run away.”

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party legislators continued to seek an apology from the National Conference and the Congress for allegedly disrespecting the national anthem on Monday during the joint sitting of the bi-cameral legislature which Governor N.N. Vohra addressed to mark the opening of the budget session.

Earlier, the opposition disrupted proceedings in both the assembly and the council seeking discussion on the valley’s unrest.

The Speaker allowed the discussion after the treasury benches said they had no objection to discussing it.