Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Friday said the recent attacks on civilians in the Union Territory were aimed at creating a wedge between communities.
The National Conference leader Abdullah said it is the responsibility of the majority community to give a sense of security to “our brothers”
He made an appeal to members of the minority communities in Kashmir to not allow a repeat of what happened in the 1990s by leaving their homes.
Speaking to reporters after visiting the residence of slain school principal Supinder Kour at Aloochi Bagh here, Abdullah also criticised the administration for failing to apprehend the attacks.
“The attacks are taking place back-to-back and no one feels secure here today. The Muslims here have also been targeted, Kashmiri Pandits and Sikh brethren also. They do not feel safe," he said.
"This is no time for politics, and I have not come here for politics, but it is the responsibility of the rulers to make people understand where the failure lies," Abdullah added.
The former chief minister of the erstwhile state of J&K said even as he was not part of the government, he had “been hearing since the last month or so that minority communities will be targeted here”.
“I heard it from very responsible people. When this information could reach me, did it not reach the responsible persons in the administration? Why did they not do anything about it?"
"There is an atmosphere of fear, everyone is thinking of leaving from here. It is our responsibility, especially of the majority community, to try to give a sense of security to our brothers and neighbours so that we will not see a repeat of the 1990s-like situation,” he said.
When asked if the attacks were done to disrupt the communal harmony in J&K, Abdullah said the militants always had such an agenda.
“They have had this agenda from the start. Yesterday also, they separated these two teachers and then killed them. The aim is to disrupt the traditional communal harmony here and worsen the situation.
“That is why I said it is the responsibility of the majority community. When we look for safety of Muslims and Sikhs in other parts from our Hindu brethren, so, in Kashmir also where Muslims are in majority, it is our responsibility to provide them a sense of security,” he said.
Appealing the minority communities not to leave Kashmir Valley, Abdullah said it is easy to pass a judgment in his position but “it will be extremely unfair because I can well imagine the sense of fear that they must be living under”.
“All I can do is make an earnest appeal to all of them. The aim of these attacks is to drive a wedge between the communities and is to try and drive these communities out of Kashmir. We cannot let these attacks succeed, and therefore, I am making an earnest appeal to all of them to not consider leaving from here,” he said.
The NC leader said his party will continue to press the administration to make sure that all these people feel secure and they are given security.
“But there should not be a pick and choose approach like the government's decision after these attacks to give a 10-day holiday to Kashmiri Pandit employees, but not to Kashmiri Sikhs. In this attack, if a Pandit as well as a Sikh were attacked, why only holiday for Pandits? Why not for them,” he said. (With PTI inputs)