3 Teams To Monitor Kashmir's Strife-torn Districts31 July 2010
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah appealed to all sections of the society to help restore peace in the Valley, and warned that anti-social elements damaging public property will be firmly dealt with. Addressing a group of ministers in Srinagar on Saturday, Abdullah also announced the formation of three ministerial teams for Baramulla, Anantnag and Pulwama districts. The teams will work with citizen groups for speedy restoration of peace and monitor the day-to-day situation. Abdullah's statement comes at a time when the Congress has put his government on notice and is closely monitoring the situation in the Valley. The party is also upset over the state's 'handling of the situation', which has 'failed' to break the cycle of violence. A senior Congress functionary said the state administration has also 'failed in containing the influence of separatists whose writ runs large' across the Valley. 'The separatists are calling the shots. They are virtually running a parallel administration. It's a matter of serious concern.' Another leader said the Hurriyat Conference faction led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani comes out with a weekly 'calendar of protests' which is not only followed by the public but government employees as well. However, the party has decided to continue supporting Abdullah, with a condition that the chief minister strengthens the governance at all levels. Abdullah, on his part, said all necessary measures will be taken to safeguard life and property of citizens and added that 'under no circumstances the common man will be allowed to suffer'.