Omar blames separatists; Mirwaiz says violence unjustified

J&K CM Omar Abdullah accused the Chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umer Farooq of betraying the trust and fueling violence here.

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister
Omar Abdullah on Saturday accused the Chairman of moderate Hurriyat
Conference Mirwaiz Umer Farooq of betraying the trust reposed
when his close aide asked for permission for march to Lal
Chowk and said violent incidents would result in setback for
any political initiative in the state.

"Today`s protests were uncalled for as people wanted to
celebrate Eid after a month long fasting. But violence like
today`s will result in set back for any initiative that the
Government can think for breaking the impasse," he said
reacting to protests in the state capital in which two
government buildings were set on fire.

Accusing the Mirwaiz and JKLF Chief Yaseen Malik of
failing in their duty to maintain peace, Omar said "It was the
Mirwaiz`s office which approached a senior official in my
government and requested for permission to have a march to Lal

"They were repeatedly asked that the mob will go out of
control but the repeated insistence from the separatist camp
for allowing them a political space for peaceful march made me
overrule suggestions of my police officials. However, whatever
has happened later from Lal chowk can be termed as betrayal of
trust," he said.

While the Chief Minister refrained from naming the close
aide of the Mirwaiz, but sources said the offer was made by
the Hurriyat Chairman through Shahid-ul-Islam, a former chief
of terrorist group Hizbullah.

The Chief Minister said the onus for maintaining peace
was totally on the two separatists leaders who have been
"accusing my government for not providing them space for a
peaceful protest."

Asked whether such incidents would cast a shadow on the
talks about partial removal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act
(AFSPA), he said "while we want the changes to take place but
such incidents would definitely have a bearing on any moves to
restore peace."

The Mirwaiz aide reasoned out that the march was a
political necessity for them as the space for separatists in
the Valley was shrinking fast, the sources said.

However, as the mob in Lal Chowk started turning
hostile, the Mirwaiz and his aides quickly disappeared from
the scene.

The Chief Minister was at present in Delhi where he
would be holding consultations with the Central leaders ahead
of a crucial Cabinet Committee on Security on Monday.

Reacting to the Chief Minister, the Mirwaiz said it was
people`s anger that was playing out on the street though he
would not justify the violence.