The Jammu and Kashmir government has evidence to prove that those who indulge in violence are being financed by vested interests, and they perpetrate violence not out of any ideological commitment, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Wednesday.
Commenting on the recent upsurge in protests in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir, Mr. Abdullah told newspersons in Jammu that when hartals and lockouts were coupled with acts that damaged the property and endangered the lives of people, a democratic means of protests became an unfortunate tool of violence. “The government is determined to maintain law and order,” he said, calling for support from the people and political parties.
During the course of the investigation, “we have nabbed some culprits who are being interrogated at present. It has been prima facie established that stone-throwers are being financed. The investigation is on, and the government will soon come out with facts and unmask the sponsors,” he said. Referring to the quick action taken in the killing of a 16-year-old boy Zahid Farooq at Nishat, Mr. Abdullah said he had made it clear on many occasions that instead of raising slogans and a false cry over issues, he was quietly taking action to resolve problems and deliver justice. “In this particular case, by swiftly identifying the accused — a record in 20 years of militancy in the State — we have replied many questions raised against the government, but the full reply will be when the accused gets severe punishment through the court of law.”
Mr. Abdullah expressed the hope that the government’s speedy action would smoothen the sentiments and have a salutary effect on the people. “Law and order problems put the public to inconvenience, mainly affecting students, small traders, labourers and shopkeepers,” he said.
On the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, he said the Act could not be seen as related to law and order problems. “It is necessarily related to militancy and law and order problems, which occur even in States where there is no militancy,” he said. Hence, the State government sought its revoca