Omar concerned over growing inclination among youth to join militancy

Omar Abdullah

Jammu, Jan 8 : Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday expressed concern over the growing inclination among Kashmiri youths to take to militancy in the Kashmir Valley.

Addressing party workers here, Abdullah said: “Shrinking space has pushed the youth to the wall.

“Compared to just a dozen or more youth drawn towards militancy in a span of years during my tenure as Chief Minister, far more than this number are taking to arms on a monthly basis.”

The National Conference leader described the increase in terror related violence as alarming and disturbing, saying terrorism was raising its head even in hitherto militancy free areas.

“In my tenure, Chenab Valley had been declared as militancy free zone. But now the acts of terror are reported from there,” he said, referring to the killing of a BJP leader in Kishtwar along with his brother, terror attacks in Sunjwan and grenade throwing on the busy B.C. Road in Jammu.

“Terror activities have unfortunately become routine in the Valley. Due to lack of vision it is spreading its tentacles in other parts as well,” he said, blaming the BJP and PDP for shrinking the space for youth by throttling avenues of jobs, resulting in alienation.

Recalling the pro-active anti-militancy operations during Mehbooba Mufti’s tenure as Chief Minister, Abdullah said: “Mufti must not mistake public memory being so short as not to remember her 2016 doctrine that the guns in the hands of the security forces were not just for showcasing but using.

“We owe our youth a peaceful, progressive and inclusive Jammu and Kashmir for bequeathing to posterity,” he said, adding that the National Conference cadre will have to work overtime to retrieve the state of yesteryears when people used to live in harmony.

Abdullah questioned the BJP government’s proposed bill on 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education to economically weak segments in the general category across the country.

“If BJP was really sincere towards youth, why such a bill has been slated on the last day of Parliament Session?”

He said the BJP had a definite game-plan to generate passions in case the bill faces rough weather in Parliament or does not stand to the scrutiny of courts.

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