Omar pledges to keep Kashmir trouble-free this summer


Jammu : Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has made two resolutions for 2011: not to allow trouble-makers to spoil the valley’s summer and to launch an onslaught against corruption in the state.

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“All efforts of my government are directed in ensuring that peace stays on in Kashmir,” Abdullah told officers here Thursday after inaugurating a website of the rural development department.

“I am determined to break the cycle of violence this year. That’s one of my resolutions for the new year,” he added.

The Jammu and Kashmir government has already started training five battalions, approximately 3,000 personnel, for the anti-riot training and the use of unconventional and non-lethal means of controlling crowds.

The other resolution, the chief minister told the officers, was “to launch an onslaught against corruption”.

Of the three summers of violence in Kashmir, the Omar Abdullah government has faced two — in 2009 and 2010.

The trouble in Kashmir during summers had started in 2008 with the Amarnath land row agitation. The streets had erupted in protest against the government decision to divert 100 acres of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board for providing facilities to the Himalayan cave shrine bound pilgrims at the icy heights of 12,000 feet above sea level.

Protests erupted in the valley in 2009 after the alleged rape and murder of two women in Shopian.

There were 112 killings in the summer of 2010 and many of these were attributed to police firing on protesters.

The chief minister also disclosed that his government has taken several measures to provide job opportunities to the unemployed.

“The police recruitment has started and we are also asking the private sector to step in to help us address the problem of unemployment,” he said.

There are more than half-a-million educated unemployed youth in Jammu and Kashmir.