Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today described the protests against continued shutdowns and strikes in the state as a sign of growing “hartal fatigue”.
“I think that is the only way to explain it,” Mr. Omar said in reply to a question about some activists and NGOs, staging peace rally yesterday against shutdowns in the Valley.
The recent protest was a reaction to the ongoing three-day ‘civil curfew’ announced by Hurriyat Leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani which began with the arrival of U.S. President Barack Obama to India.
Traffic on roads in civil areas of Srinagar and outlying areas remained open, Mr. Omar said, adding that rest of the areas in the valley are as close to normal as they have been in last five months.
“So long as Geelani persists in announcing a calendar, obviously, danger that something untoward can happen remains, Mr. Omar said. “Therefore the state government and security forces are doing their best to ensure that any situation is dealt with maximum restraint.”
When asked if his statement in state Assembly on accession of Jammu and Kashmir with Union of India had resulted in negative reactions from Jammu, Mr. Omar asserted that what he stated was factually correct and any corrections on that will be made again in the House.
To a query on his stand regarding surrender policy, Mr. Omar said he had spoke about rehabilitation policy - a policy that allows those desirous of coming to this part of the state from across LoC without weapons and without urge or feelings of indulging in acts of terrorism or violence.
On establishment of Central University in Jammu, he said, “We are waiting for the appointment of its Vice Chancellor which unfortunately had been marred in political argument of which community or region he should be.”
Mr. Omar said during next six months the government would try to reach every area of Jammu province and he along with ministers and officers will go to field to redress grievances of the people.