Srinagar: The governor Satya Pal Malik and senior officers have prescribed for frayed Kashmiri nerves a dose of Bollywood light: All is well.
Safety and security of the people of the state is the responsibility of the government, said governor Malik and senior officers including Commissioner Secretary Home Shaleen Kabra, who issued the Friday’s order, asking yatris and tourists to leave the Valley at once.
The assurances have been brusquely dismissed or ignored by the people who continue with panic buying of essentials. Petrol pumps remained swarmed with people, hours before outlet owners opened them officially on Sunday and the queues only grew longer and longer. In between, a fresh rumour floated that Kashmir’s unique flag had been downed at the civil secretariat and in no time it went viral on social media.
INS correspondent visited the area, housing the civil secretariat, and found both tri-color and the Kashmir’s flag, consisting of a deep red field, representing labour, charged with a plough to represent agriculture, flying high.
While the latest rumour will be set into rest being visible to eyes and for everyone to see, the central government’s silence on rumours regarding trifurcation of the state to revocation of Article 35A and delimitation of constituencies and also “something big is happening” is not helping. There has neither been affirmation of these fears, nor the relief of denial. People and pro-Indian politicians have been left to the torture of chasing the black cat that might be prowling their dark room. It is not that attempts to coax clarity were not made. On Friday a collective effort was mounted by Mehbooba Mufti, IAS-topper turned Shah Faesal, People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone and others to seek clarity from governor Malik but to no avail.
National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah and his colleagues also met Governor on Saturday in an attempt to find answer to the grappling questions and were told “state has no knowledge of any changes to constitutional provisions. Therefore, no panic should be created by unnecessarily linking this security matter with all kinds of other issues.”
Unimpressed, Omar said that governor is not the final word on Jammu and Kashmir and New Delhi must answer.
“The Governor has assured us but the Governor is not the final word on Jammu and Kashmir. The final word on Jammu and Kashmir is of Government of India. Now, we want to hear from Government of India in the Parliament what is their intention about Jammu and Kashmir and what is their assessment of the situation here,” Omar said. The centre needs to show democratic face and should come up with a clear stand.