Monday, August 12, 2013

Kishtwar violence: Omar Abdullah invokes Narendra Modi to counter BJP - NDTV

Vacant Jammu streets during the curfew.

New Delhi/Srinagar: Under attack from the opposition for allegedly failing to check communal violence in his state, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah retaliated by accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party of being "hypocrites" and ignoring major lapses by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in 2002 when his state was lacerated by riots.  

In parliament, top opposition leader Arun Jaitley ardently objected to his detention in Jammu on Sunday by the state government to keep him from visiting Kishtwar, the nucleus of the violence, 150 kms south of Jammu. Mr Jaitley compared the action against him to   "censorship" and said, "Kashmir is not the private property of one family." (Live blog)

The chief minister's father, Farooq Abdullah, rebutted Mr Jaitley in parliament by saying, "Nobody was allowed into Gujarat after the riots... it's not the property of Modi." He was referring to the riots in 2002 in Gujarat which took place on the watch of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, expected to be the presumptive prime minister of Mr Jaitley's party, the BJP.

Omar Abdullah followed up on Mr Modi on Twitter. "Their star PM hopeful waited days to call out the army & has yet to apologise. Hypocrites." (Who speaks what on Kishtwar leads to battle in Rajya Sabha)

Though he had not named the BJP when Mr Jaitley was detained, he had said that politicians would not be allowed to visit Kishtwar or other violence-hit towns until normalcy was restored, because some parties, he said, wanted to exploit communal conflict ahead of national elections.

Three people have died and eight towns including Kishtwar under curfew. The violence began on Friday. Mr Jaitley has questioned the role of Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo, who was reportedly present in Kishtwar when the clashes began on Eid. Mr Kichloo has resigned as junior Home Minister till an inquiry by a retired judge is completed.  Protestors reportedly clashed with the police in Kishtwar tdoay when a procession of women was stopped at Sidyal Chowk.

Opposition parties have alleged that the Kashmir government had been warned by intelligence agencies of escalating tension, and that the army was called in too late to help restore law and order. (Mayawati demands President's rule in Kashmir)
Army troops are driving through towns like Jammu to enforce curfew.
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