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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Don’t see tourist arrival as normalcy, atmosphere of fear in Kashmir: Omar Abdullah

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Friday said tourist arrivals in Jammu and Kashmir should not be linked with normalcy as there is an atmosphere of fear in which no one is certain about his future.

He said the government should be asked how the situation has come to a point where militancy has made a comeback in areas declared terror-free years ago.

“Tourist arrivals to Kashmir should not be seen as a sign of normalcy. Tourists have been coming here ever since 1995, some years less and some more,” Abdullah told reporters at Chadoora in Budgam district.

He had gone there to condole the killing of Television artist and TikTok starlet Amreen Bhat by militants at her residence on Wednesday.

He said the claims of normalcy by the government do not reflect the ground reality. “There is an atmosphere of fear. No one is sure who will be next on the target. We have a woman who is shot dead at her home and her nephew is injured. A similar incident took place with one of our off-duty policemen. Where is the normalcy?” he asked.

“We had made Srinagar militancy-free, areas of Ganderbal district and moat areas of Budgam were incident-free. Today, I am neither in government nor making claims of normalcy. This question should be asked of the present government,” Abdullah said.

Asked about police claims that the killers of Amreen Bhat have been eliminated, the former chief minister said he would not be able to comment on it as he was not privy to the intelligence based on which the operation was carried out.

“We all are disturbed by the trend of innocent civilian killings and the present government has to find a way to stop it,” Abdullah added.

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