January 2003 News

Omar accuses Mufti Govt. of witch-hunting

12 January 2003
The Hindu

NEW DELHI: The National Conference president, Omar Abdullah, today alleged that the office-bearers of the ruling People Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir had shot off letters to his party leaders to join them and the present migration was a result of the 'fear-psychosis' created by the present regime. Breaking his silence on the recent defections of some NC leaders, including former Ministers, to the PDP, Mr. Abdullah said the PDP leaders had written to his party cadres asking them to join their party. 'In cases where the NC leader joined, well and good, otherwise the next letter was shot to security agencies for withdrawal of personal security or bullet-proof vehicles.' In several cases, some of his senior leaders who had not complied with the diktats of the Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, or his daughter, Mehbooba Mufti, received a letter from police saying that their security was being withdrawn. 'The Mufti Government is creating a fear psychosis in the State and is virtually indulging in witch- hunting and thriving purely on the basis of breaking other political parties,' he added. Three Ministers of the erstwhile Cabinet, including Nissar Ali, Mohammed Sharief Tariq and Saddiq Ali, joined the PDP last week. 'Only in one case I was shocked while in others, our party had rejected them by not giving them re-nomination,' he said without elaborating. Flaying the claims of the Government on providing accountability, he said the induction of a former NC Minister, who had not been given re- nomination because of allegations of corruption, 'showed the real face of the Mufti Government that it is only into politics and not for providing any healing touch'. Stating that the trend was dangerous, he said he would be holding consultations with his party's senior colleagues to highlight the 'witch-hunting' of the Mufti Government. To a question about the 'healing touch' provided by the Government, Mr. Abdullah said: 'let them name even one case where the Mufti Sayeed Government had formulated a healing touch policy... If one wants to comment on providing jobs to militancy-affected families, the record needs to be set straight. It was the hard work of the previous Government. When the records were compiled and the orders were issued, the Election Commission ordered polls and we had to sit back and keep quiet'. He alleged that the Government was neglecting the Kashmir Valley at the cost of the Ladakh region.'We believe that all regions should get its due share, but we find that the Valley is getting a step-motherly treatment,' he said. Even the issue of disbanding the SPG, the main poll plank of the PDP, fell apart and it had to toe the 'line of our party, which suggested the reorientation of the group',he said. PTI


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