Mute condemnation of killing of girls `unfortunate`: Omar

The killing of two girls in Sopore by suspected LeT militants evoked sharp reactions with CM Omar Abdullah calling the "muted condemnation" of the shocking incident by citizens and separatist leaders as "unfortunate".

Last Updated: Feb 01, 2011, 21:49 PM IST

New Delhi/Srinagar: The killing of two girls in Sopore by suspected LeT militants evoked sharp reactions on Tuesday with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah calling the "muted condemnation" of the shocking incident by citizens and separatist leaders as "unfortunate".

Speaking on the sidelines of the Chief Ministers` Conference on Internal Security in the national capital, Omar said "I find it difficult to understand. Under these circumstances, I doubt anybody would have guts to stand up and say they did it and why they did it."

"I think this in itself brings out the contradictions that exist in Kashmir because if there was even the slightest of indication that these deaths have been the result of high handedness of security forces, today, the whole Valley would have erupted in flames. But because these killings were by the militants, the condemnation is muted or the condemnation does not come at all," he said.

Omar said reaction of the people is also muted which he thought was "unfortunate".
Arifa and Akhtar, daughters of Ghulam Nabi Dar, were gunned down by three militants, including a Pakistani, at around 10 PM at Muslim Peer in Sopore town, 52 kms from here yesterday, Superintendent of Police Sopore Altaf Ahmad said.

According to preliminary investigations, the three Lashkar militants barged into the house and forcibly took the girls, aged 19 and 17, police said.

"The girls were later shot dead by the militants near the Ziarat (shrine) Rahim Sahib. One of them was shot in the left eye," Ahmad said, adding their bodies were found near their house. It could not be immediately ascertained why the militants had targeted the sisters.
The police officer said the local militants involved in the killing have been identified as Wasim Ganaie and Muzaffar Naikoo. Both the ultras are among `A` category militants and carry a cash reward on their heads.

When asked why civilians were targeted after a long gap, Omar said, "Unfortunately civilian killings have happened from time to time. Obviously, the civilian deaths as a result of militancy were overshadowed by the civilian deaths as a result of stone pelting but we have had about 40 civilian casualties as a result of militancy last year."

Earlier Omar tweeted that the killers were "heartless". No militant group has claimed responsibility for the killing.

In an apparent dig at separatists leaders, Omar said, "If you can`t condemn the killing of these two girls, irrespective of your political beliefs and do so without qualifying it, then shame on you."

Public health Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Taj Mohiudddin said the act is unfortunate.

"Only a coward would do like this to kill innocent people in respect to what grudges they have against them but to kill innocent females it is unfortunate," he said.

PTI