Tuesday, May 24, 2022
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“I’m Here. I Haven’t Run Away. I’m Ready To Admit Mistakes”

In the hot seat for over a year, the current round of violence marks J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah’s biggest test.

“I’m Here. I Haven’t Run Away. I’m Ready To Admit Mistakes”
“I’m Here. I Haven’t Run Away. I’m Ready To Admit Mistakes” Jitender Gupta

Full text of the interview, excerpts from which appear in print:

How would you explain this explosion of rage in the valley?

It’s not quite an explosion of rage. At this point I would call it a simmering anger. It did explode some days ago, the mood was very raw but we were able to contain it. The turning point was the death of this young woman, Fancy, in Srinagar (On July 6) She was leaning out of her window, watching the protests in the streets. The police fired in the air and she took one of the shots. There’s an emotional reaction to the death of a lady that doesn’t happen when it is men involved.

We have reached the point where Kashmir is permanently simmering -- and it exploded in 2008 when things were worse and hopefully we won’t get there. Since then, there are ups and downs. Things became quiet for the elections, then there was simmering anger against Shopian, then the spate of deaths we have had in dealing with law and order disturbances. Obviously, that has had an effect on people’s psyche. I believe even the Macchil fake encounter by a person from the army has had a deep impact. Three people are lured by promise of jobs by a person who was financially rewarded. Then these people are projected as militants and killed. All of this came together to create what you would call a perfect storm, I think, and we have been dealing with such a storm.

The FIRs have not been lodged in many of these cases of civilian deaths. That only adds to public anger.

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