Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah met a string of Central leaders in the capital on Tuesday to review the law and order situation in his troubled state. Among those he met were Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union home minister P. Chidambaram and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
With the state having been roiled by considerable trouble last summer which was marked by frequent skirmishes between youth who came to be known as “stone-pelters” and the security forces, Mr Abdullah’s government would be keen to avoid the repeat of a similar situation in the coming months.
Apart from the law and order situation in the state, also discussed at the various meetings was the status of the dialogue process which was initiated by interlocutors appointed by the Central government and the socio-economic condition of the state.
While the PM reportedly assured the J&K CM of his support for peace and development initiatives in the state, the latter thanked him for the interest shown by him in the resolution of “political issues in a political manner”. He also urged the PM to enhance the Plan allocation for the state for this fiscal to ensure equitable and holistic development in J&K.
During his meeting with the Congress president, apart from the political and economic developments in the state, also discussed were the working of the Congress-National Conference coalition. Mr Abdullah also briefed Mrs Gandhi about the holding of non-party based panchayat elections in the state after a gap of about 30 years.
During his meeting with Mr Chidambaram, Mr Abdullah requested relaxation for recruitment of Dogras in the Central armed police force irrespective of their regions within the state.
The home minister is believed to have assured the CM that the issue will be resolved in a day or two.
Separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani had recently termed the state government’s decision to issue Dogra certificates to people in Jammu region an attempt to divide the state and demanded its immediate revocation.
Following his meeting with the home minister, Omar said that apart from the Dogra certificate issue, he apprised Mr Chidambaram about the law and order situation in the light of the recent panchayat polls in the state.
Speaking to the media, Omar said that no money has exchanged hands for this election. On the issue of cross-voting by BJP members in the Legislative Council polls, he said, “It is an internal matter of the BJP.” He also briefed the home minister about the progress of investigation into the killing of religious leader Maulana Showkat Ahmad. Asian Age