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Called Omar but he never reverted: Mehbooba on not consulting Oppn during Kashmir unrest

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday countered the charge that the opposition was not taken on board during last year’s unrest, saying she had tried to contact National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah but failed.

She said in the Legislative Assembly that she had called Omar but was told that “he would call her back. And I waited but the call never came. “I also called Farooq (Abdullah) sahab when he returned from London after his treatment and again I was told that he will call me back but again no call came.” Mehbooba was counter the charge by Omar, her predecessor, that he was not taken on board during the unrest. Apparently referring to the 2010 unrest that took place during NC-Congress rule, she said Omar was fortunate as his father was there to defend him to say that ‘my son is there in Kashmir fighting the Pakistan for India’.

The Chief Minister, whose resignation was demanded by the National Conference for adopting a “casual” approach and taking “wrong steps” to control the situation during the unrest, said after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Buhran Wani in an encounter, she had asked the police and security officials to take caution and impose curfew. “When I got the phone call that Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter, I asked the police and security agencies to exercise caution that it was expected that people would come out to attend the funeral. I asked them to impose curfew. If someone is to be hanged, it is told in advance and security apparatus can be put in place but when this encounter took place, the security forces were busy in managing Amarnath yatra,” she said.

“People came out from places where it was unexpected. Over 50 police and security camps were damaged and 215 such incidents took place. I asked for restraint but there were certain elements who pushed the children inside and then themselves escaped and small children became the target,” she said. She said six people lost vision in their both eyes whereas 20 others were left with a damaged eye during the unrest while there were over 100 people who had an eye injury.

“Over 4,500 personnel of police and security forces were also injured while safeguarding the life and property of the people,” she said. With regard to rehabilitation of families of those who lost their lives, the Chief Minister said, “We don’t compare 2010 unrest and 2016 unrest. We should not do it. This is no excuse that anyone loses his life and for which (to ensure public safety) we have been given mandate by the people.

People do not want any such thing to happen.

“I strongly feel that the situation (last year) was not sudden and (had been) going on for several years. My request is that be it 2010 or 2016, it should not have happened, either in your time or ours. Help us to heal the wounds of the people and to bring them out of this,” she said, reaching out to the opposition.