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Matter of shame that elections in J&K had to be announced by Supreme Court: Omar Abdullah

'What is the BJP and what is the Government of India going to do about the deadline the Supreme Court has set,' Abdullah asked, noting that the court has said that assembly elections should be held in Jammu and Kashmir by the end of September 2024.
Last Updated 24 February 2024, 18:40 IST

Mumbai: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday said it was "a matter of considerable shame" that the Supreme Court had to issue a directive about elections in Jammu and Kashmir rather than the Election Commission of India.

The National Conference leader also contended that the view that Article 370 was at the root of all problems of Jammu and Kashmir was not correct, and terrorist attacks are now being reported in areas which were earlier free of terrorism, in particular the hills of Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch.

More Kashmiri Pandits have been killed in targeted attacks in the Valley during the tenure of the present government than in the past, he claimed, speaking at ABP Network's `Ideas of India' Summit 3.0 here.

"What is the BJP and what is the Government of India going to do about the deadline the Supreme Court has set," Abdullah asked, noting that the court has said that assembly elections should be held in Jammu and Kashmir by the end of September 2024. "It is a matter of considerable shame that elections in Jammu and Kashmir, rather than being announced by the Election Commission or encouraged by the Government of India, had to be announced by the Supreme Court," Abdullah added.

In December, the Supreme Court upheld the Centre's decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370 which had given a special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, but directed restoration of statehood "at the earliest". Assembly elections should be held by September 30, 2024, it said.

Abdullah also said that terror attacks on Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley is a regular occurrence. Despite the abrogation of Article 370, pockets of support for separatists continue to exist, and hardly a week or two passes without a terrorist attack, he said. More Kashmiri Pandits have been killed in targeted attacks under the present (Union) government than under previous dispensations, he claimed.

The Kashmiri Pandits whom his government had resettled in the Valley with government jobs are now pleading that they be allowed to move back to Jammu, the former chief minister claimed. "This government has not returned Kashmiri Pandits their sense of security. More Kashmiri Pandits want to leave Kashmir today than (those who) wanted to five or ten years ago," Abdullah added.

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(Published 24 February 2024, 18:40 IST)

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