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PM Modi Wants Detractors of Train 18 Punished, Silent on Kashmiris Being Attacked: Omar Abdullah

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said the attacks on Kashmiris, in the aftermath of the terror attack on CRPF jawans in Pulwama, was clearly motivated by the approaching elections.


Updated:February 22, 2019, 9:49 AM IST

Srinagar: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Thursday asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi was silent on Kashmiri students being targeted in various parts of the country and insinuated that the BJP may be behind the attacks.

“PM Modi the wants detractors of a train to be punished, but says nothing about people targeting innocent Kashmiris. He clearly has his priorities wrong,” Abdullah said while talking to reporters. He was referring to Modi’s statement that people mocking the newly launched Vande Bharat Express should be "punished" for "insulting" India's engineers and technicians.

The former J&K chief minister said the attacks on Kashmiris, in the aftermath of the terror attack on CRPF jawans in Pulwama, was clearly motivated by the approaching elections. “I have no firm evidence to suggest that BJP is behind the attacks on Kashmiris but they are silent about what is happening,” he said.

There have been cases of Kashmiri students and businessmen being targeted, especially in Dehradun, with reports of some students even demanding the expulsion of their Kashmiri peers from universities. Several cases have been registered and some students have also been arrested for their Facebook posts.

At least 10 Kashmiri students have been booked and 24 suspended or rusticated from colleges across the country for what officials called “anti-national” social media posts. The Supreme Court is also likely to hear Friday a petition highlighting the alleged targeting of Kashmiri students in the country following the Pulwama terror attack on February 14.

Abdullah said he can “only hope that none of these students who are targeted come out on to the roads and pelt stones.”

Addressing the media, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister also said talks with Pakistan cannot be held in the backdrop of attacks such as the one in Pulwama last week.

"Our PM has talked about a 'muh tod jawab' but such a reply is not possible in the current situation," Abdullah said a week after 40 CRPF soldiers were killed.

The Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Abdullah also asked Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik to ensure the security of Kashmiri students who were forced to return home following alleged threats and attacks in various parts of the country in the wake of the Pulwama terror strike.

Referring to the withdrawal of security to Kashmiri separatist leaders, he said it was a regressive step and he was not aware of anybody misusing security. "When we talk of dialogue (to resolve Kashmir issue), we are branded anti-national," Abdullah said.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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