PC To CWC: These Protests In Valley Break From The Past16 August 2010
The Indian Express
New Delhi: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today told the Congress Working Committee (CWC) that the current situation in Kashmir was different from earlier periods of unrest in its genesis and nature. After a long break, a large number of ordinary civilians have come out on the streets to protest, Chidambaram told the CWC. This suggested that the unrest was spontaneous. Giving a detailed account of the clashes between stone-throwing protesters and the security forces, which have resulted in the loss of over 50 lives since June, the Home Minister said that the anger on the streets was directed mainly at the police and the CRPF, and not the Army. He did not blame the government of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, steering clear of the line taken by some of his colleagues pushing for a change of guard in the state. Chidambaram’s matter-of-fact description of the situation in the Valley appeared to have had a sobering effect on the senior Congress leaders who are known to have reservations about Omar’s ability to deliver in a crisis. Former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad refrained from commenting on the performance of the Omar government. Azad focussed his speech at the CWC meeting on the relief operations in Leh. AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said that the CWC expressed “concern about the way youth is being misguided by some elements”. The CWC meeting also decided that the election of the Congress president will be held on September 17, “if necessary”.