Govt must end repression of rights of people in J&K: Dr. Farooq Abdullah

Calls for release of thousands of Kashmiri youth languishing in jails across the country; Congratulates PM for inaugurating first ever electric rail to Kashmir

Calls for release of thousands of Kashmiri youth languishing in jails across the country; Congratulates PM for inaugurating first ever electric rail to Kashmir

Srinagar, 20 Feb (KNS): The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President and Member of the Parliament from Srinagar Dr. Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday asked the government to release the Kashmiri youngsters languishing in jails across the country, saying the humanitarian gesture will go a long way towards curbing alienation.

He said this while interacting with the press at Srinagar Railway station. Dr Farooq was on his way to Sangaldan, Banihal to attend the flag off ceremony of the first ever electric train to the Valley. Political Advisor to President Mushtaq Guroo and Publicity Secretary Mir GM Saqi accompanied him on the visit.

He said that people are eagerly waiting for Kashmir to be connected with the rest of the country by rail network. "Today is a blessed day that this train reached Sangaldan and the Prime Minister inaugurated it; I hope that this rail link will be fully completed by June-July this year," he said.

Listing the advantages of the project, he said that besides enhancing the mobility of the commuters, it will give a boost to the local fruit industry by enabling the local agricultural produce reach local and national mandis on time.

Recalling the day when the train was brought to Jammu, he said that he had met the then Railway Minister and requested him to extend the railway line beyond Jammu. He said that the concerned minister, who conceded to his request, had made a provision of Rs 100 crore for the extension of the railway line up to Udhampur.

In response to a question asked by the LG in his welcome address regarding the claim of peace, stone pelting and the end of strike calendars, Dr. Farooq Abdullah said, "If the situation has really improved as they claim, then why are thousands of our children in jails? What is their fault? Is this peace? So I advise them to stop oppressing people, free our youth and give them a chance to live their lives with dignity. We want peace and nothing else."

He further said, "Ghulam Nabi Azad's claims that Farooq Abdullah goes to meet the Prime Minister and the Home Minister during night are fabricated. Why do I need to go during the night? I am a member of parliament and I am dealing with public issues in broad daylight. I appeal to the Prime Minister and Home Minister to see who is spying for Azad in the PMO's office and home. Azad cannot get away by making false and obnoxious statements. How can a person who is not loyal to his party and ideology be loyal to anybody? People are the best judges."

In response to the question asked about the parliamentary elections and the National Conference candidates, Dr. Farooq Abdullah said, "We are waiting for the elections for a long time now. We hope that apart from the parliamentary elections, panchayat, municipal and assembly elections will also be held in Jammu and Kashmir. As far as the National Conference candidates and whether I contest the election from Srinagar or not, it will be decided by the party. These are not individual decisions."

Earlier he was accorded a rousing reception by DDC Sangaldan on the occasion.(KNS)

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