Afraid to go out of J&K… first target Muslims: Omar Abdullah

Afraid to go out of J&K… first target Muslims: Omar Abdullah

India News

Former Chief Minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah Saturday said he feels sacred going out of Jammu and Kashmir as an atmosphere has been built in the country where “the first target are Muslims”.

Addressing party workers in border town Poonch, Omar said: “Ek bahut hi khatarnak khel khela ja raha hai (a very dangerous game is being played).” Claiming “everything is under attack”, he added: “Humari masjidon pe azaan hoti hai, uss pe taqleef… Hum halaal meat khaate hein, uss pe taqleef… Humari kuchch betiyan, behnen hijab pehan ke college jana chahti hein, uss pe taqleef… Har cheez pe… (There is azaan from our mosques, they have a problem; we eat halal meat, they have a problem; some of our daughters, sisters want to wear hijab to college, they have a problem… A problem with everything).”

This is the second outburst by Omar over communal polarisation in the country. On April 27, the NC leader said this was not the India that Jammu and Kashmir had acceded to. While referring to the hijab and mosque loudspeakers controversy, he had said: “We were not told that one religion would be given importance and others would be suppressed. If that had been told to us, perhaps our decision would have been something else.”

The fact that Omar chose Poonch, a Muslim-majority district in Jammu, for Saturday’s remarks is significant.

Going on to talk about controversial demolition drives across the country, he asked whether people from only one community were behind illegal constructions. “Who has not raised such constructions? But when the bulldozer moves, it moves only on one side.”

The NC leader said that the Hindustan in which every religion was to be seen equally and without discrimination, “uss Hindustan ko tehas nehas kiya ja raha hai (that Hindustan is being destroyed)”.

Omar cautioned people against attempts to divide them on religious lines. “If things are bad in J&K, they are bad for everybody. There isn’t any particular section that is progressing or whose life is easy, but everybody is unhappy,” he said, urging everyone to unite to address this problem.

He also accused the government of being “in a hurry to erase our history”, vowing to continue to fight for restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir. “We used to see J&K State Road Transport Corporation written on SRTC buses, but when I was coming here today, I saw ‘RTC’ trucks. They had painted over the word ‘state’, thus changing the name of the company… like we were never a state or will never become a state.”

On the call by former NC MLA Aijaz Jan asking people to come to the streets, Omar said he did not support this. “I will not make the people of Poonch come on the roads… I will not give anybody an excuse to arrest someone here, fire teargas or bullets… We will fight for our rights, but with peaceful means… We will not take law in our hands and we will not spoil the atmosphere here… We will not divide people here… We will knock on whichever door is required.”

The NC leader referred to the recent decision by the Supreme Court to take up cases relating to the abrogation of Article 370 after the court summer vacation. “In Allah’s court, there may be delay, but we will wait and I hope we will get justice,” he said.

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