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“I’m not saying, situation in J-K was normal in our time”: Omar Abdullah

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) : National Conference leader Omar Abdullah has welcomed the move by the Jammu and Kashmir authorities after it allowed the 8th Muharram procession to pass through its traditional route on Thursday after over three decades. Abdullah, while talking to ANI here was slamming the Central government over ‘abnormal’ situation of the union territory when he called the move “a welcome one”. “I think this government should have confidence in the situation. Either the situation is not normal, then they should stop telling the world it's normal. Stop telling the Supreme Court the situation is normal. Because if it is normal, then don't stop prayers on Eid, don't stop Friday prayers in Jama Masjid. Don't restrict religious leaders from carrying out their religious and social responsibilities...Today's decision to allow Muharram procession is a welcome one. But it shouldn't be a decision in isolation,” the NC leader said. Recalling his tenure as the Chief Minister of the Jammu and Kashmir that used to be a state, Abdullah said that he had an ‘abnormal’ state at his time. “I am not saying that the situation was normal in our time. I am the first person to tell you that I had an abnormal Jammu and Kashmir to govern when I was CM. We weren't able to do everything. But then I also allowed prayers in Idgah...So you can't pick and choose which ones you like and which ones you don't like...," the leader said. Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the leader said that he party knows that they will never get seats in the current scenario and will not get more than ten seats if the elections in the union territory are held "BJP knows that in the current scenario, they will never get seats. In fact, if elections are held today they will probably not even cross ten seats. Therefore, their political future is linked to how best they can divide voters in Jammu and Kashmir. And that's what they're doing. But let elections come. I'm sure you will find that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are much wiser. They will not allow these sort of conspiracies to divide them,” he added. Notably, the Muharram procession was carried out on the traditional route of Shaheed Gunj to Dalgate. This route was thrown out of bounds for the processions in the backdrop of the law and order situation since 1989. The administration granted two-hour permission for the procession to be carried out between 6 to 8 am. Locals thanked the J-K administration for giving the permission for the procession after 33 years. The administration put all security arrangements in place to prevent any law and order situation during processions. Significantly, ADGP Kashmir Zone Vijay Kumar chaired a high-level meeting to discuss arrangements. SSP Srinagar was also advised to use technology like drones to monitor crowd gathering.

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