Omar against hoisting of Tricolour at Lal Chowk

Chief Minister asks BJP to abandon programme

Separatist groups — Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference — have called for a march towards Lal Chowk on that day.

The chief minister’s appeal came during a public meeting in the old city of Srinagar. This was his first public appearance in the politically sensitive area of the city after a five-month-long civilian unrest during which 113 persons were killed in clashes with security forces.

“Honestly speaking, I was reluctant to come over here. Finally, I mustered courage to come to you and talk to you so that your problems are solved,” he told the gathering.

Omar addressed the people in the old city a day after the local police conducted a successful recruitment drive at the neighbouring Khanyar area. The area had witnessed heavy stone pelting and clashes between protesters and the men in uniform.

“Let me tell you that the BJP and the Hurriyat Conference are playing negative politics. They want to see Kashmir burning. Their statements and actions are adding fuel to the fire,” Omar said.

The chief minister also stated that Kashmir has witnessed enough crises. “We do not want more tension and bloodshed  and I appeal to the BJP not to hoist the Tricolour at Lal Chowk,” he said.

The BJP has already made it clear that there is no question of abandoning its programme at Lal Chowk. The party had flagged off the Kashmir-bound “yatra” from Kolkata on Wednesday.

It may be recalled that the then BJP president Murli Manohar Joshi had hoisted the national flag at Lal Chowk in 1992 when militancy was at its peak in the valley.

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