Omar, Shinde Discusses Kashmir Situation

Omar, Shinde Discusses Kashmir Situation

22 February 2013
Deccan Herald
Zulfikar Majid

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Friday met Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Singh in New Delhi where he discussed issues relating to the recent developments in the state. Sources told Deccan Herald that Omar updated the Shinde about the law and order situation in the state in general and Kashmir in particular following the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in Tihar jail. This was the first meeting of Omar with Shinde after the execution of Afzal on February 9. Earlier, Omar met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday. Omar had also met Singh and Shinde on January 31, nine days before the hanging of Afzal. 'The latest meetings come in the backdrop of recent turmoil in Kashmir. Omar raised the issue of the returning of Afzal body to the family,' sources said. They said that while Centre was willing to think over the issue of handing over the body of Afzal to his family, it was state government which was apprehensive. 'Omar fears that lakhs of people could join the funeral prayers of Afzal if his body is returned. In that scenario controlling the mobs would not be possible for law enforcing agencies. The Intelligence Bureau has already alerted the state government that return of Afzalís body could become a major law and order issue in Kashmir,' a senior police officer wishing anonymity told Deccan Herald. Kashmir, which remained under curfew consecutively for over a week following Afzalís execution, erupted in protest against the decision of centre to hang him in secrecy at Tihar without giving even mandatory prior information to the family. The worsening situation in the aftermath of execution also saw a loss of three lives and injuries to nearly 100 people. Even at present, the situation in the Kashmir is still far from normal with the voices, including those from Kashmir based mainstream parties, growing louder for return of Afzalís body to the family. Cornered on the issue, Omarís ruling National Conference leaders too have joined the chorus.