Ask states to ensure Kashmiris' safety: Omar to Rajnath

Last Updated 15 February 2019, 10:21 IST

Asserting that Kashmiri people living in other states could be soft targets in a surcharged atmosphere, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah Friday asked Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to direct all state governments to ensure their safety.

"My earnest appeal to @rajnathsingh ji to please issue directions to all state governments to take special care in areas/colleges/institutions where Kashmiris are residing/studying. They are soft targets in a surcharged atmosphere," Abdullah tweeted.

He also asked people to unite against terror and maintain peace.

"Kashmiris/Muslims in Jammu didn't attack our CRPF jawans yesterday (Thursday), terrorists did. This violence is a convenient tool by some to shift the blame. Let's unite against terror, let's not allow terror to divide us," Abdullah said.

His remarks came after curfew was imposed in Jammu as a precautionary measure following massive protests and stray incidents of violence over the terror attack in Kashmir's Pulwama on Thursday that killed 40 CRPF personnel.

"Giving vent to anger by attacking innocent people because of their ethnicity or religion is no way to honour the sacrifices yesterday. Reports of violence & arson in Jammu are deeply worrying. I hope political leaders & civil society are able to ensure cooler heads prevail," Abdullah, who is also the National Conference vice president, said.

He said if the attention of security forces and the administration is shifted to dealing with "communal violence" in Jammu instead of investigating the attack and preventing further such attacks "who are we helping with the arson & violence?"

At least 40 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed when a terrorist of Pakistan-based outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a bus they were travelling in, in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama's district.

Meanwhile, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said miscreants in Jammu were trying to take advantage of the situation by inciting tension.

"Distressed to hear about miscreants in Jammu trying to take advantage of the situation by inciting tension. Guv (Governor) adm (administration) should have preempted this by securing minority-dominated areas. Have spoken to IG (inspector general of police) Jammu to deploy additional security," Mehbooba wrote on Twitter.

She said the need of the hour is to show compassion and come together.

"It will be a travesty & against the spirit of our secular ethnocultural values to use this terror attack as an excuse to target minorities. Hour of the need is to show compassion & come together (sic)," she said.

(Published 15 February 2019, 09:54 IST)

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