Frustrated Elements Trying To Drag J&K 'back Into The Darkness': Omar Abdullah

Frustrated Elements Trying To Drag J&K 'back Into The Darkness': Omar Abdullah

21 October 2012
The Economic Times
Masood Hussain

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday said certain frustrated elements were making desperate attempts to 'drag the state back into the darkness'. 'They try to use both the gun and the voice to develop fear in the minds of people to drag the state back into the darkness from which it is coming out steadily,' Abdullah told a gathering of state policemen at a camp here. 'They want to snatch the sense of security from people, mar their normal life activities and disturb peace for their selfish ends.' Presiding over the Police Martyrs' Commemoration Day, Abdullah said people would not permit the enemies of peace to succeed. The chief minister said the situation was gradually returning to normalcy. 'Over a million tourists and half-a-million yatris to Amarnath are not only indicative of change but also a huge economy, which is generating economic activities for people and rejuvenating the tourism sector.' The function coincided with the conclusion of an overnight operation in which at least two militants were killed in a north Kashmir village. Police said two securitymen - an ASI of J&KP and a CRPF cop - were injured during the operation, in which a residential house was completely devastated. The operation in Sopore's Shallpora hamlet was jointly carried out by the state police, Rashtriya Rifles and CRPF. Abdullah said the time was ripe for the withdrawal of AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) from places where Army rarely operates. 'It is unfortunate,' he told reporters seeking explanation on the lack of follow up to his 2011 announcement. 'There is no progress.' 'I have made no bones about the fact that we should have made more progress on that (AFSPA). I believe we are comfortably placed for the phase-wise removal of AFSPA,' he told reporters after presiding over the Police Martyrs' Day function at Zewan on the outskirts of the city. The chief minister said he would continue his efforts for the withdrawal of the act in phases.