Omar seeks clarification on troop withdrawal

Omar seeks clarification on troop withdrawal

A day after India and China pulled back their troops from the Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) sector on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday urged the Centre to clarify “where from and where to the Indian troops have withdrawn”.

“I am glad that the standoff with China over its incursion into the DBO sector was resolved peacefully. However, if media reports are correct, we need a clarification from the Centre, particularly from Defence Ministry, as to why we pulled back our troops from the area which belongs to us,” Omar told reporters during the opening of the Civil Secretariat offices here after its six-month sojourn in the winter capital Jammu.

He said China had repeatedly intruded into India in the Ladakh region.
“However, this time the Chinese troops remained on the Indian side of the LAC for more than 19 days,” he added.

When asked about the attack on Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah in the Kot Balwal jail in Jammu, Omar said: “The inquiry into the attack will be conducted in a time-bound manner. Certain steps have already been taken. The jail superintendent and officials have been suspended (and) an inquiry has been ordered...it will be conducted by the principal secretary of home (department).”

He said the minister of state for home has been directed to provide security to all Pakistani prisoners lodged in different jails in the state. “We have kept Pakistani prisoners separately to avoid such unfortunate incidents in future,” he added.

The chief minister refused to divulge details of the investigations into the attack on Sanaullah.

“While I have information available to me as to the circumstances of this attack, I have learnt a valuable lesson of not sharing initial findings with you because I have paid a heavy price for sharing initial findings of the (2009) Shopian (alleged rape and murder) case...the media took those initial findings as if they were final pronouncements, which was not the case,” he said.

Asked why restrictions have been imposed on the movement of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the Chief Minister said: “His speeches trigger law and order problem that is why his freedom has been curtailed.”

Omar said that the newly formed State Vigilance Commission (SVC) is probing the spurious drug scam.

 “I can’t say much on this as investigations are on. There is shortage of testing facilities as government labs are not able to test the drugs properly. So we are trying to establish a full-fledged testing lab through private-public partnership,” he said.

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