As Kashmir Valley was back on its feet showing signs of normalcy after days of protests, strikes and curfew, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was in the Capital on Saturday, meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Home Minister P. Chidambaram.
On both the political and administrative fronts, Omar Abdullah was assured by the Central leadership of full support to tide over the current phase of crisis in the border State.
The Chief Minister held wide ranging discussions with Mr. Chidambaram on the prevailing security scenario in the State amid reports indicating that an overhaul in the top echelons of Jammu and Kashmir police could be on the cards. He also apprised the Home Minister of the steps being taken by the State government to improve the situation and restore complete normalcy, peace and order in the troubled regions of Kashmir Valley.
During his meeting with the Congress President, he discussed functioning of his government. Mr. Abdullah who heads the National Conference-Congress government was assured by Ms. Gandhi of her party’s full support and cooperation. A delegation of the Congress leaders and legislators from Jammu and Kashmir had recently met Ms. Gandhi, demanding a rotation in the Chief Minister’s post. Defence Minister A. K. Antony was also present during Mr. Abdullah’s meeting with the Congress President.
Later in the day, Mr. Abdullah met the Prime Minister and briefed him about the law and order situation in the State and apprised him of the efforts his government was making for further improvement. The Prime Minister also assured all help and support to the State government, government sources said.
The Chief Minister told reporters that his government was contemplating to
put in place a more concrete mechanism to check inflow of foreign funds to the protestors in Jammu and Kashmir.
``Yes, money is coming through various channels in the State. We are going to put in place some more concrete steps to stop the flow of funds,’’ he told reporters.
``I have discussed with the Home Minister how to give better equipment to paramilitary forces and J and K Police so that they can control the crowd in better ways so that no incident takes place and no one dies,’’ he said.
Asked about the opposition's allegation that he was losing control over the government, the Chief Minister said: ``There was no point talking about such things now since we had given opposition a chance to express their views at the all-party meeting which they boycotted.’’
``I have not lost control over the government. Had I lost control over, the situation would have been worst. It is true that due to certain incidents in the valley, the situation was tense but gradually it is improving. It is obvious that the opposition wants that I should lose control so that they can take advantage of it,’’ he said.
Asked about deployment of the Army, he said the Army was deployed after the State government and various agencies assessed the situation on the basis of which a decision was taken.
``By the grace of God and the efforts that the State government has taken, there has been no casualty since Tuesday last. People are still coming to various places and protesting but fortunately not with the intensity what we have seen in the past,’’ he said.
The Chief Minister said Army was part of the counter-insurgency (CI) grid and also part of necessary deployment on the LoC and along the border and beyond that there was no role of the Army.