After Cong, Omar Directs AFSPA Ire On Armed Forces

After Cong, Omar Directs AFSPA Ire On Armed Forces

22 May 2013
Greater Kashmir
Khalid Gul

Srinagar: Maintaining that Army has been the biggest hurdle in the revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in J&K, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Wednesday said he would take up the issue in the upcoming Internal Security Meeting in New Delhi. “What I am saying is not hidden to any one and everybody knows that Army has been opposing the AFSPA revocation tooth and nail,” Omar said while talking to media persons on the sidelines of a public rally in Wathu village of this South Kashmir district. “The Army has shown reluctance regarding the revocation of the Act. However, we are trying to break the ice and sort out differences with them,” the Chief Minister said. On Monday, Omar, who has been advocating partial withdrawal of AFSPA, had cited his coalition partner Congress as a hurdle in revoking Disturbed Areas Act, a prelude to the removal of AFSPA. Omar announced that he would take up the issue of revocation of the Act in the upcoming Internal Security Meeting in New Delhi. “I will be attending the Internal Security Meeting on June 5. The meeting will also be attended by Prime Minister and I will surely raise the issue of revocation of the Act during the meeting,” Omar said. Commenting on the delay in approval of the annual financial plan by the Planning Commission of India, Omar said the preliminary discussions regarding it have already been held. “The yearly plan was approved last year in the month of June. This year May 20 was set as the deadline; however lack of preparation on our part and some on behalf of the GOI has resulted in a delay,” Omar said. Earlier, in his address to the public rally, Omar predicted an overwhelming victory for his government in the Assembly elections next year. He asked the people to ensure ‘permanent eviction’ of the MLAs from Legislative Assembly who have remained away from its proceedings and failed to highlight public demands at the right forum. “Had the Pen-Inkpot (election symbol of PDP) party’s MLA of the area advocated the issue of compensation of land to its young owner in the Assembly, the youth would not have to wait for the visit of Chief Minister to his area to register his grievance,” Omar said in response to the demand made by a youth in the public meeting. Omar Abdullah directed the concerned to immediately attend to the genuine demand of the youth and redress its grievance positively. “You have not returned our nominee from this constituency but we have not neglected you at all. We have ensured your development at par with other parts of the State as equitable and holistic development of the State is benchmark of my government”, he told the public gathering. Omar Abdullah said that over Rs 60 crores have been spent in Shopian on the construction and up-gradation of roads alone while five bridges are under construction at a cost of Rs 34.75 crores. He said three schemes have been approved under NABARD at a cost of Rs 6.57 crores and Rs 3.17 crores have been released as mobilization advance for these schemes. “23 road projects have been sanctioned in Shopian district, of which 21 have been completed and work on two schemes is in full swing,” Omar said. The Chief Minister said that 49 schemes have been taken up under Public Health Engineering programmes and 16 have been completed during the last three years and eight schemes are targeted for the current financial year. Omar Abdullah said that a modern Fruit Mandi, first of its kind in Asia, has been sanctioned for Shopian to facilitate fruit growers and traders associated with this activity. He said Rs 40 crores have been earmarked for this market. “A modern Mini-Secretariat for District Shopian is coming up at an estimated cost of over Rs 40 crores,” he said. The Chief Minister announced Rs 1.5 crore for up-gradation of LT-HT lines in Shopian. He also announced a receiving station in the area and Rs 70 lakhs for playground besides a modern Primary Health Centre and PHE augmentation scheme. The Chief Minister said that his government would continue to focus on redressing public grievances and expanding the orbit of development in all areas during next one and a half years, adding that attention is being paid on creating economic activities by bringing Shopian on tourist map. He said construction of Mughal Road has opened new vistas of development and economic welfare for this district adding that the road has helped fruit growers to dispatch their produce to Poonch-Rajouri belt hassle-free. Omar Abdullah said that this all has been possible due to peaceful atmosphere. “We have tried to reach out all areas on development front and deliver positively and purposefully,” said Omar. He said that they are not like those who cover their eyes with black glasses and remain devoid of ground realities. “We are fully aware of public difficulties and their demands and are keenly addressing these and making necessary dent wherever required,” Omar said. He said the performance of his government would speak loudly and clearly for it. The meeting was also addressed by Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Nazir Ahmad Guraezi, Minister of State for Technical Education, Vikar Rasool, MLA and Provincial President NC, Kashmir, Nasir Aslam Wani, legislator Showkat Ahmad and other local leaders. Earlier, the Chief Minister inaugurated 50 MVA 132-33 KV Grid Station at Kanipora with associated 132 KV D-C Lassipora-Shopian Transmission Line involving estimated cost of Rs 17.52 crores. The commissioning of Grid Station has energized receiving stations at Batpora, Gargan, Pinjura and Choudhary Gund. Another 33 KV Shadimarg feeder presently under construction will feed receiving stations at Shadimarg, Mittergam and Keller.