Posts Tagged ‘Omar Abdullah’

ByM Saleem Pandit, TNN | Mar 14, 2013

A 24-year-old youth was killed

when CRPF personnel returning from the hospital after donating blood for their wounded colleagues in Wednesday morning’s fidayeen attack fired at a crowd of protesters in Saidpora area here, said the police.


Altaf Hussain died on spot as a crowd of protesters demanding the return of Afzal Guru‘s body ran into the CRPF vehicle, the police said. When angry people began pelting stones, the CRPF personnel fired at the crowd which resulted in the death of Altaf Hussain, son of Abdul Ahad Wani of Saidpora. Doctors at SKIMS said the boy was brought dead with a bullet wound in the chest.The youth’s death led to a fresh wave of protest with thousands of people from the old city taking to the streets with Altaf’s body. The anger of protesters led the National Conference to condemn the killing, with a senior party leader describing Altaf’s death as “murder without provocation” and demanded an inquiry.

Former home minister Nasir Aslam Wani, who is provisional president of National Conference, termed Saidpora killing as “cold blooded murder”.

The police was absent in the entire old city areas in an attempt to reduce tensions but residents carrying Altaf’s body raised anti-India slogans, as well as against the security forces and Omar Abdullah.

Kashmiri separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani called for a complete shut down on Thursday against the “unprovoked firing by the CRPF on the common people” after the fidayeen attack on their camp in Bemina.

APHC chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq condemned the killing of the youth. Expressing serious concern, he termed it a “barbaric act” on part of the security forces.

Sensing trouble, the administration imposed section 144 in the entire Srinagar district. Authorities are likely to order curfew on Thursday morning to avert any violence in the Valley.

NC expressed deep sympathies with the family of the bereaved. Nasir Wani assured the family that the party will ensure justice to the family and stand by those dependent on the deceased.

Meanwhile, several activists of Panthers Party held a massive protest in front of parliament in New Delhi demanding the immediate dismissal of the J&K government saying it had failed to protect the lives and property of the people.


pic courtesy- samvada
From the brother of Shaheed Tahir Sofi, Altaf Sofi:

Mr. Omar Abdullah,
My brother was killed by on the street by a bullet and this moved you to tears.
Even though 1 lakh Kashmiris have been sent to the grave so far, you have never cried in open but my brother’s death (finally) awakened your conscience so much so that you wept in openl…y in the Assembly.
Our eyes too weep, we do moan, our hearts too are broken. Our beloved has been snatched away from us. We weep for he has been taken away from us forever. We are not alone, the nation mourns with us just like it mourns Afzal’s and Mudasir’s cruel deaths.
As the Chief Minister since 2008, this is the first time you have wept the tears of repentance, which leads us believe that even stones could have hearts.
What crime had Tahir committed?
We do not understand this. We cannot still believe that he has left us all till we meet him on Day of Judgement. Tahir used to pray five times a day, his kindness and humility is not hidden from the people of Baramulla and Dehradun. He was dedicated to his studies.
Who is responsible for putting out the light from his life?
Is it the Trooper who shot him in the head? Or is it the system that condones every action and saying of these (Occupational) Forces? They send to the grave whoever they wish and send to the gallows whoever they wish. The Khaki-clad Trooper, today, is the Law, the Judiciary and the Executioner-all rolled into one.
The rulers are effeminates in front of this Khaki-Clad Trooper. So much so that a Senior Minister Ali Sagar has to publically appeal to the CRPF, “Do not use Pepper (spray) Guns, the CM has already made this clear to you.”
Mr.Omar, does anyone listen to you or to him? They won’t because (your) government itself is at the mercy of the (Occupational) Forces.

Mr. Omar, You don’t need to declare that Afzal Guru was hanged- as the Chief Justice of Indian Supreme Court already has- “to satisfy the collective conscience of the Indian Nation.”
I will not ask you: To satisfy whose “conscience” was my brother killed?
Or who called these enemies as “Tai’ran Ababeel*** and grandly welcomed them (to invade Kashmir)?
Who leads them (the Occupational Forces) in meetings of the Unified Command Committee (except you)?
Every kid in Kashmir is well aware of this.
Shedding these tears, did you ask yourself, why you shed these tears? Are these tears similar to the tears of Dr.Farooq Abdullah after he took the oath in ’96?
I leave all this to your conscience. But as a member of the bereaved family, I have the moral duty (and right) to inform you that a Minister from your government by announcing 5 Lakh Rupees (as ex-gratia relief), has rubbed salt into our wounds.
This announcement is equivalent to trampling upon our emotions.
You should know that no government can ever pay the price of the pure blood of our beloved and other Kashmiri youth. Your government tried to set a price even for the blood of Wamiq Farooq but his poor parents by rejecting this offer set an example worthy of being written in gold, though it may not appear so to your government. (Similarly), the father of Mudasir Kamran befittingly responded to your generous offer! We thank you since your generosity has finally lead to the price being set for a Kashmiri life at 5 lakh rupees! There was a time when Kashmir and Kashmiris were purchased for 75 Lakh Nanak Shahi (by the Dogras). This means that every Kashmiri life was worth just a few takkas.
Honorable Mr. Omar,
Quran and Hadeeth bear testimony that the person who aids the oprressor is equal in sin with oppressor. Who laid the foundations to the atrocities and cruelties perpetrated upon Kashmiris today?
You are well aware of this fact. I will not repeat from the dark pages of this terrible history in order not to hurt you!
Why do you take carry on this legacy of oppression and violence?
Take a guess. How many innocent lives were taken in 2008 and 2010? How many innocent and oppressed ones were left with nothing? How many parents lost their children?

How many families were destroyed? How many people were thrown into dungeons?
All this for holding on to a position that is temporary? How many burdens would you want to carry on your shoulders on the Day of Recompense? Are your shoulders strong enough (to bear these burdens)?
The intentions are but known to Allah only. Judging by your tears, it appears that your conscience is finally waking up. If indeed this true, this is the best time to free yourself from all the previous burdens (by repenting).
By kicking away this position you hold on to earlier rather than latter, abandon the ranks of the oppressors and join the crowd of the oppressed.
I am aware that politicians, in this age are not blessed enough to abandon position and power to embrace humanity. Fear of Allah and true faith in the hereafter are necessary to do this. You know quite well that many leaders have sold their honor and soul just to attain a Ministerial post. This is the reason that even when the blood of innocents is being spilt, chastity (of women) outraged, houses are set ablaze, youths are slaughtered, the politicians are not prepared to give up their addiction for power.
Giving you the benefit of the doubt is the reason, that I had the audacity to present to you my thoughts even in these moments of utter grief.
You have announced Relief of 5 lakh rupees to our family in exchange for the life of Tahir that was taken away. I will collect 6 lakh from my family and relatives, and I make the offer of presenting this amount to the Superiors of the Trooper who killed my brother with one condition alone: the trooper who killed my innocent brother, who was in a state of ritual ablution at the time, is hanged at the same spot where he bathed my brother in blood. So that my family and the Kashmiri people can get some relief from the fact that an oppressor was properly recompensed.
Honorable Mr.Umar,
Read the writing on the wall at the earliest. Assembly elections were held, then parliament elections and then Panchayat elections were held, Kashmiris couldn’t and cannot be subdued even if, God forbid, blood of many more Afzals, Mudasirs and Tahirs is shed


Dear Omar,
 I am forwarding the email I have received from Mr. G.M. Kaloo, President of the J&K Press Association, whom you had met several months back at my request. I have been receiving several such emails from various persons stating that newspapers are not being allowed to be published/distributed in Kashmir, cell phones and internet services have been disabled, and other restrictions placed after the hanging of Afzal Guru.
  My own thinking in the matter is this : no freedom can be absolute, and hence press freedom under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution can also not be absolute, but is subject to reasonable restrictions in the public interest vide Article 19(2).
 Kashmir has a law and order problem, and ordinarily it is the state government which is the best judge of the situation and the way to handle it. Hence we should ordinarily respect the decision of the state government. The state government may have thought that for some time there should be a restraint on press freedom, because while many newspapers are responsible, some are not, and may publish inflammatory material which may create a huge law and order problem by inciting people to violence. Hence for some time a restraint order may be justified.
 However, if the restraint is continued too long it may become unreasonable and unjustified. After all, there has to be a limit to the time duration of the restraint order, and it cannot continue indefinitely. People have to be allowed to let off steam and express their grievances peacefully,otherwise their grievances will erupt violently. There is a proverb “Words break no bones”.
 I would therefore request that you consider the matter and discuss it with Mr. Kaloo and other respected and responsible journalists of J&K, and then pass appropriate orders.
  You know that I hold you in respect, and I know of the difficult situation you are facing, and so I hope you will not mind my expressing my view, which I think to be in your interest.
 Justice Katju
Subodh Mukoo wrote:
Publication of news paper has been stopped by the government and thus people deprived of information about day to day developments in Kashmir Valley .
G. H. Kaloo
Jammu Kashmir Press Association(JKPA)
(Subodh K Mukoo)
National Coordinator, JKPA

CM Omar Abdullah‘s Reply :

Dear Justice Katju,

With reference to your emails of today please find attached below my response which I hope you will take in to consideration while making any public statements regarding the media in Kashmir.

Best regards

Omar Abdullah

With reference to your e-mails, I fully share your concern regarding continuation of restrictions in the Kashmir Valley.
The facts are under:-
·       The execution of Afzal Guru took place on Saturday (Feb 9). On Saturday night, some local newspapers like Kashmir Images and Kashmir Reader and a few local Urdu dailies did print and publish their newspapers.
·         Circulation of these papers by the vendors was not possible as there were severe restrictions on any kind of movement in Srinagar city, in particular, and all over Kashmir valley at large.
·         We have been given to understand that on Sunday newspapers have not printed their editions as restrictions were continuing in Kashmir valley and circulation of the same would not have been possible, even if they were to be printed.
·        It may be mentioned that Jammu editions of the Kashmir based papers did get circulated.
·      The Information Department has not issued any directive to the publishers by putting any restrictions.
·         It is true that the internet facilities on GPRS enabled phones  have suffered, but Broadband  Desktop internet facilities are available and the newspapers are updating their editions online.
·        With the Government proposing to ease restrictions in Kashmir valley as the situation improves, movement of vehicles would also be getting facilitated and we are sure that the media publications would also get circulated.
·        The security/ law and order concerns and the restrictions in Kashmir Valley has well been appreciated by you and we acknowledge it with all humility.


By M Saleem Pandit, TNN | Feb 4, 2013, 04.54 AM IST

Fatwa issued against Kashmiri all-girl band
A top clergyman and other separatist groups issued statements and “fatwas” against the girls who have taken refuge in New Delhi after chief minister Omar Abdullah offered support to them on February 3, 2013.
SRINAGAR: Kashmir’s top clergyman, Mufti Azam Mufti Bashiruddin, on Sunday issued a “fatwa” against three Kashmiri girls for being part of a rock band which performed in Srinagar in December 2012.The grand mufti said he has decreed against the girls because music is banned in Islam and girls should imbibe “better values” instead of vices.

“I issued the fatwa where I said to the girls that music is not good for society,” he said. “All bad things happening in the Indian society are because of music,” he added.

Mufti Azaam said, “The parents of the girls should try to correct erring teenage girls and teach them Islamic values instead of exhibiting them as source of entertainment for thousands of people. I will be forced to issue another fatwa if these girls and their parents do not take corrective measures to mend their ways.”

The mufti and other separatist groups issued statements and “fatwas” against the girls who have taken refuge in New Delhi after chief minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday offered support to them.

The three teenage girls – drummer Farah Deeba, guitarist Aneeka Khalid and vocalist-guitarist Noma Nazir – performed at a Srinagar stadium last December organized by Adnan Mattoo and Raheel Khurshid’s Bloodrockz. Their performance came under fire from conservative elements in Kashmiri society and they received threats.

Sources said Omar Abdullah has asked crime branch of the Jammu and Kashmir police to investigate the matter. He said on Twitter that he hoped the talented young girls would continue to pursue their goal and not let a handful of people silence them.

Hurriyat Conference faction headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Sunday expressed surprise over the way Omer Abdullah supported the girls saying that though in a civilized society there is no place for coercion and force but some values have to be adopted to safeguard the ethical, moral and religious traditions.

The Hurriyat faction spokesman Ayaz Akbar said that Kashmir being a sacred place of saints, there is no room for western culture.


TNN | Feb 3, 2013, 04.55 AM IST

After threats, Kashmir's first all-girl rock band stops live shows

After threats, Kashmir‘s first all-girl rock band stops live shows
SRINAGAR: Jammu & Kashmir chief ministerOmar Abdullah on Saturday led the chorus of support for the valley’s first all-girl Sufi rock band — ‘Pragaash’ (light) — that was forced to quit live performances after abuses on social media.

The CM promised action while public support including a Facebook community “I support Pragaash, Kashmir’s first all-girls’ rock band” has encouraged them to bounce back with an album as a befitting reply to hate mongers.

“They have stopped live performances for the time being but are working on their album,” said 22-year-old Adnan Muhammad Mattoo, Pragaash manager and a musician, who trained the teenaged girls — Farah Deeba, Aneeqa Khalid and Noma Nazir — at his Band Inn Music Academy in Srinagar. “They will be back with a bang.”

The three could not be contacted and are said to be in New Delhi. “Thanks for the support everyone. It really means a lot!” wrote the band’s guitarist, Aneeqa Khalid, on the community page that had managed 594 likes since Friday when it was started.

The band gained prominence after their exceptional performance at the annual “Battle of the Bands” event that Mattoo has been organizing to encourage young talent since 2008. The abuse began days later, forcing their alarmed parents to ensure they keep a low profile. They had won the best performance award in their first public appearance.

Omar joined hundreds of Pragaash supporters on Twitter to lend his support. “I hope these talented young girls will not let a handful of morons silence them…,” he tweeted. He said police would examine the threats and whether any provision of the law can be used to book those making them. ” Shame on those who claim freedom of speech via social media & then use that freedom to threaten girls who have the right to choose to sing.”

“We are yet to outdo haters. Keep the support coming in,” Shehla Rashid Shora, one of the band supporters, wrote on the Facebook page. “Misogyny is not restricted to Kashmir. It’s only being recognized here now because people are raising a voice against it.”

Another supporter Absaar Syed echoed Shora. “Quitting would amount to lending haters a win. Don’t do that.”. Nibha Majeed seconded him. “(T)hese personz who use such abusive language n dnt knw how to talk abt gals…are rotten lots themselves …”

Mattoo said the support had overwhelmed the girls, whose talents he described as “astonishing”. He said they also needed financial support to chase their dreams. “We need sponsors, otherwise we would be unable to realize the dream of releasing the album.”

He said he had ignored abuses when he was tagged and threatened on Facebook first in December. But it rattled the girls and their families. “They are just 15 and too young to face such abuse. They are hurt. They cried, but I tried to convince them to continue.”

He said they were doing nothing wrong and they were carrying forward the glorious tradition of Kashmiri Sufi music dedicated to love of the Prophet. “We do not know who these people are and want to get to the bottom of this.”

The 22-year-old said they were looking for more government support for over 40 music bands in the Valley. “People would be encouraged if they see a future in this profession and we need the government’s support for it.”

He said they have trying to get an appointment with the CM for over a year. “I expect Omar Abdullah, a music lover, to support us,” he said. “I have met (former chief minister) Mufti (Mohammad Sayeed) Saab. He was very encouraging and so are the common people, who are happy with us as we represent Kashmir.”

Lawyer Mohammad Ashraf said social network sites have been used to instigate violence and malign others to settle personal scores despite the cyber crime laws. “The police have set-up a wing to deal with it.”

Organizers of late Jagjit Singh’s concert some years back faced similar abuses.


With two years remaining for Assembly elections in the state, Abdullah said he will approach the Centre again and make a case for partial withdrawal of the AFSPA

J&K CM Omar Abdullah hands a cheque to a worker in Srinagar. PTI photo

Jammu (PTI): Pushing for partial lifting of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday 7 January asked all stakeholders concerned to shed rigidity to help take a decision based on the ground situation and for the benefit of people of the state.

“It’s surprising that whenever we have talked about lifting of AFSPA, certain vested interests have been working overtime and making projections as if we want it to be removed from the entire state whereas we want it to be lifted from certain parts only,” Omar, who completed four years as the head of the National Conference-Congress coalition government Sunday, said.

With two years remaining for Assembly elections in the state, 42-year-old Omar said he will again approach the Centre and make a case for partial withdrawal of the AFSPA.

“It was never a political issue or an emotional argument from us. Our stand has always been based on sound logic and a realistic assessment of the ground situation,” he said.

Questioning the claims of ‘vested interests’ that partial withdrawal of AFSPA will see a rise in militancy, the chief minister asked “whom are they trying to fool? This is an insult to the Army and other security agencies who are manning the border. Those propagating such an idea indirectly mean that Army is doing nothing. This is an absolute misinformation campaign launched to demoralise the Army, CRPF and state police.”

“First and foremost I never advocated lifting it from areas close to the Line of Control or so. I have suggested that it could be lifted from areas like Srinagar and Jammu cities,” Omar said in reply to a question about apprehensions that the areas, where the AFSPA will be withdrawn, would become a safe haven for terrorists.

Asked about the response for his attempts so far on the AFSPA issue, the Chief Minister said, “We have not been successful but this does not mean that we should not try. We are trying and I know for sure that something positive will emerge.”


JAMMU AND KASHMIR, Updated Dec 02, 2012 at 09:08am IST

Srinagar: Syed Maqbool Shah spent 14 years in jail before he was acquitted and released two years back in the 1996 Lajpat Nagar blast case. But a normal life still eludes the 36-year-old who now says he’s done fighting. After failing to get a job and get back to normal life, he says life outside prison has been more cruel than inside. “I am neither a stone nor a tree. I feel that I am still behind bars,” said Shah.

Shah was arrested in 1996 and was first of many accused to be set free in April 2010. Two Kashmiri men were recently acquitted in the same case. But Shah says he won’t be surprised if they too get nothing from the Centre or state governments for the years lost. “They still haven’t given me my passport. It has been nearly two years. I wanted to work outside but wasn’t allowed to do so,” added the 36-year-old.

While in detention, Shah lost his father and younger sister to serious ailments and the family business suffered badly too. For the last two years, Shah has been trying to get the President and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah‘s attention for help but to no avail.