New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Friday said there were "visible and invisible links" among the militants in his state, the Maoists, Left-leaning academicians and supporters.
"We have no experience with Maoist insurgency even though of late we find efforts being made to build bridges between the Maoists and Naxalites of the rest of India with militants of Kashmir and also some Left-thinking academicians and students in Jammu region as well," Abdullah said.
He was speaking at a seminar organised here by the India Today Group on "State of States in India".
"We have seen evidence of it (of bridges being built between Maoists and insurgents in Kashmir). A lot more effort to build a sort of interaction. A lot of movement of known
Maoist sympathisers now travelling to Srinagar and organising seminars and conferences with supporters of militant violence in Jammu and Kashmir as well," he said in reply to a question.
He alleged that not only were there visible links but also several covert connections between the two.
"There are visible links on public platforms. There are also invisible links that are sought to be built with universities and also the active militants on the ground," the Chief Minister said
Abdullah was apparently alluding to Maoist sympathisers like writer-activist Arundhati Roy who had expressed support to Kashmiri separatists at a programme here where pro-Azadi slogans were also raised. Later, Roy and others visited Jammu and Kashmir to espouse their cause.
He said the state was now witnessing a new form of violence in the form of stone-pelting.
"In Jammu and Kashmir, there has been a gradual shift in traditional insurgency involving violence with guns, bombs and things like that to a new dimension that emerged over the last three years starting in 2008, which is a more orchestrated civil protest sort of system," Abdullah said.
The National Conference leader insisted that due to militancy and violence Jammu and Kashmir could never hope to compete with big states.
"We know we can`t compete with the big states. We know that in the glamour quotient, we will never be able to match the Maharashtras, Gujarats, Andhra Pradeshs and even our
northern neighbours like Himachal Pradesh..." he said.
Abdullah maintained that insurgency had affected all aspects of governance in the state.
"What we have lived through is the actual effects of violence and insurgency on every aspect of governance – on our ability to generate investment, on our ability to actually govern, on our ability to conduct elections in which people are free to vote as they wish to, in our ability to provide services which people in other parts of the country take for
granted," he said.