'Separatists hold secret meetings with intel agencies'

'Separatists hold secret meetings with intel agencies'

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday accused separatist leaders of holding secret meetings with intelligence agencies “but shying away from talking to Centre”.

“In closed rooms they (separatists) meet different people. They take tea with agency people in restaurants and five stars and hold secret talks. But they don’t want to talk with Centre in the open,” a local news agency quoting Omar said.

Asked to comment on his recent statement that some elements within the Hurriyat were ready to contest elections, the chief minister said: “What I said is some elements like Sajjad Lone. He contested parliament elections in 2009 also. They should contest in open instead of fielding proxies.”

The separatist-turned-mainstream leader Sajjad Lone had reportedly fielded proxy candidates in 2002 and 2009 Assembly elections before contesting in the 2009 Parliament election himself from north Kashmir constituency. However, he lost the election and is now preparing to contest in the Assembly polls scheduled for 2014.

Without naming Jamiat-e-Islami, a politico-religious organisation, Omar said they help other parties (People’s Democratic Party) through back channels. “They give boycott call and use militants to threaten people who want to vote in free and fair manner. Then they ask their own people to vote for those parties,” he added.

Omar warned those elements who think Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s hanging would have no impact on Kashmir. “It has an impact on the minds of people of Kashmir. If someone thinks that there will be no impact, he is wrong,” he added.

The chief minister also criticised the Centre for its failure to take action against the Army men involved in Pathribal fake encounter case of 2000. “The CBI has found evidences against the Army. If the Centre wants to win the hearts of people of Kashmir, they should punish the guilty. People have lost their faith in the institutions because of such issues.”

Putting speculations of early Assembly election in J&K to rest, he said, “The polls would be held in October-November 2014. We will also see who comes to power in Centre after the Parliament election (April 2014).”

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