Friday, November 19, 2010

Links between Naxals, militants visible: Omar

November 20th, 2010

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Friday said there were “visible and invisible links” among the militants in the 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,” Mr Abdullah said. He maintained that not only were there visible links, but also several covert connections between the two. “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 while speaking at a seminar in the capital. Mr Abdullah was apparently alluding to Maoist sympathisers like writer-activist Arundhati Roy who had expressed support to Kashmiri separatists at a recent programme held here where pro-Azadi slogans were also raised.

Mr Abdullah pointed out that the state has been witnessing a new form of violence since 2008 in the form of stone-pelting “which is a more orchestrated civil protest sort of system”. He said that due to militancy and violence Jammu and Kashmir could never hope to compete with big states. Mr Abdullah maintained that insurgency had affected all aspects of governance including conduct of elections and generating investment in the state. Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir government is soon expected to de-notify Srinagar under the Disturbed Areas Act, a move that would render the AFSPA ineffective in the summer capital of the Valley. Government sources here said that nearly 2,000 security personnel will be shifted out from the civilian areas to the border areas without disturbing the counter-insurgency grid in the state.

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