Srinagar, Aug 15:
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Friday challenged the separatists’ claim that thousands are languishing in jails here and asserted that hardly 100 people are currently under detention in the state.
Addressing the Independence Day function at the Bakshi Stadium here, Abdullah said: “I challenge all those people who are trying to stoke passions in the state by saying that thousands are languishing in prisons in Jammu and Kashmir.
“If 100 people are in prisons here this time, I would say that is a big number.”
He appealed people to participate in the state elections due here in November-December in large numbers. He said that despite separatist appeals people have been voting in the past and will do so this time also.
Addressing the last Independence Day function of his six year term, Abdullah highlighted the achievements of his government.
He said militancy related incidents across the state had come down by 80 percent during this period.
He said the state government was also trying to reduce the presence of security forces in cities and towns.
He said around 300,000 passports were cleared by the state police during this period.
“Around 350 people who had gone across the borders have returned back to their homes under the state government’s rehab policy,” the chief minister said.
He said around 500,000 tourists visited the Kashmir Valley because of an improvement in the overall situation.
On the demand of revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Abdullah said that “if militancy has come down by 80 percent, time is not far when AFSPA would also have to go”.
He spoke of the shortage of electricity in the state and said during his present tenure, electric power projects likely to produce 1,500 MW were started.
The chief minister also took salute at an impressive parade in which contingents of police and paramilitary troopers participated.