Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) leader Omar Abdullah on Thursday, 28 April, said that the Union territory is passing through a difficult period where militancy is rampant across the erstwhile state.
"J&K is passing through a difficult phase. The security situation is a cause of concern, there's no area in Kashmir that is free from militancy. There is very little economic activity barring tourism. J&K has high unemployment levels," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
On Wednesday, Abdullah had said that present day India is not the country that Jammu and Kashmir had acceded to, adding that the decision "would have been something else" if people had known that the Muslim community's religious rights "will not be protected" in this country.
Abdullah on 'Bulldozer' Drives, Hindi Imposition
Further, the JKNC leader remarked that religious freedom was one of the hallmarks of democracy, and condemned the recent spate of encroachment demolition drives allegedly targeting the minority Muslim community in clashes-hit areas of Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.
"How do you think we feel when houses of Muslims are demolished by bulldozers and TV anchors say "there will be a shortage of bulldozers soon, we will have to import more of them"...? People who we expect to be impartial, take a partial position," Abdullah said.
His comment carried an allusion to Times Network Group Editor Navika Kumar's tweet, wherein she had asked, "Dramatic increase in demand for bulldozers. Are we increasing domestic capacity for manufacturing or will we have to depend on imports??"
Kumar's remark, which had come after alleged illegal settlements were razed in Delhi's Jahangirpuri and Madhya Pradesh's Khargone, was called out by netizens for its insensitivity to those who had lost their homes and shops.
Abdullah also heralded that in a diverse country like India, there cannot be one national language. "If Indian currency note gives space to all languages, then it's understood that we're more than just one language, culture, and religion," he was quoted as saying by ANI.
This comes amid a controversy surrounding Ajay Devgn, which began when the actor incorrectly claimed, "Hindi was, is and always will be our mother tongue and national language."
(With inputs from ANI)