Omar protests Army`s `interference`

Omar Abdullah had complained to the PM against Army`s public criticism of him and his government.

Last Updated: Dec 02, 2010, 14:06 PM IST

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister
Omar Abdullah complained to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
against Army`s public criticism of him and his government
following which Northern Army commander Lt Gen B S Jaswal
apologised to him.

The controversy arose after the Army`s Northern
Command based in Udhampur issued a press release on the
encounter that took place on November 29 on the outskirts of
Srinagar city.

The press release claimed that the encounter had taken
place only because of removing of bunkers by the Omar Abdullah
government, who was "compelled to give in" and that it could
have "pleased a few hardline separatists and their ISI
handlers".

While the Army issued a separate press note later
saying that the earlier one should be cancelled and not
published, some newspapers did carry it.

"Lt Gen Jaswal spoke to the Chief Minister and
apologised for the error and from his side the matter should
be treated as closed," an official spokesperson said.

Omar had written to the Prime Minister protesting
army`s "interference" in the state government`s policy issues.

The state government had conveyed to the Centre that
the Army command was working at several levels and trying to
create a fear psychosis in certain quarters that if Armed
Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) was revoked in few areas,
the situation in the state would deteriorate.

Omar has been demanding withdrawal or amendment to the
AFSPA to make it more humane.

PTI