2011: A Year That Raised Hopes For Peace In Jammu And Kashmir29 December 2011
The Economic Times
Srinagar: After nearly two decades, 2011 proved to be lucky for Jammu and Kashmir as it not only saw a record tourist season but also declining voice of separatists leading to lesser strikes calls and growing political activities that included successful holding of panchayat polls in 30 years. The later part of the year saw a heated debate over the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act after the state government pushed for its revocation from some areas, a move which saw opposition from the army. After the boisterous street protests last year, the state government took some matured steps of taking into confidence villages heads and prominent citizens of the city to douse any agitation. The Jammu and Kashmir Police used all non-lethal weapons in countering protests in the state. The death of ruling National Conference worker, Syed Mohammed Yusuf, in police custody saw lot of political hustle and bustle but the state government's decision to order a judicial enquiry by a retired Supreme Court judge cooled the flaring political tempers. The death took place after the deceased worker had left from the residence of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. 41-year-old Omar wasted no time in ordering a proper inquiry into the incident as the deceased was alleged to have been taking money from people with a promise to get them a ministerial berth or MLC seat.