Vote bank the aim behind recent sectarian clashes: Omar

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday said that nearing of elections was a reason for communal and sectarian clashes in Kashmir valley. He said that the elements behind the trouble expand their activities as elections draw nearer.

Omar Abdullah said that the vested elements behind the issue separate the society, create conflicts between various sections, sects, faiths, regions, and casters while keeping an eye on vote bank.

The Chief Minister here met a delegation of Majlis-e-Tahfuz-e-Itihaad (MTI) constituted by civil society to pacify the tension in some villages of Central Kashmir’s Budgam district where sectarian clashes took place recently.

Moreover, Omar announced one month’s free ration for the effected families of some villages. He also said that timber and other construction material for the affected families will be made available for reconstruction of their damaged houses. “Horticulture, Agriculture, Rural Development, and Revenue departments would be asked to dovetail their scheme to help rehabilitation of the affected families and restoration of their agriculture and horticulture activities”, Omar said.

Government has made Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir the Nodal Officer for assessing the damages caused to various families in the clashes. Sources said that this has been done so that a comprehensive rehabilitation programme is launched.

The delegation raised the issue of releasing of those who were arrested by police while dealing with the situation. Omar Abdullah told the delegation that he would ask the Police Department to review their cases and release those who are not involved in serious acts and crimes. However, he said that they would be released only after obtaining assurance from their families that they would not repeat their troublesome and peace disturbing actions.