SRINAGAR: Amid alleged attacks on Kashmiris across country after the February 14 bombing on a CRPF bus, which left 40 paramilitary personnel dead, the National Conference vice president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday said Kashmiris are being maligned under a well knit conspiracy and asserted that attacks on Kashmiris have got blessing and support of New Delhi.
"Under a well knit conspiracy, image of Kashmiris is being maligned and tarnished. The Kashmiris are being targeted in Dehradun, West Bengal, Rajasthan, and other places. The boys and girls, who are studying in outside colleges and universities, have nothing to do with politics. They had gone to these places to pursue education for their better future. Unfortunately, they are being harassed, threatened and evicted from these places," Omar told reporters in Srinagar.
He said initially they thought that some ignorant people were behind these attacks.
"However, now it seems that they have got support and blessing of central government party. It now seems there is a well-planned conspiracy to target a particular community," the former chief minister said.
Referring to Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy's statement, he said the Governor has called for boycott of Kashmiris and asked people not to visit Kashmir and not to go for Amarnath yatra.
Omar said they had though it would draw strong condemnation at highest level. "We were hoping that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had talked about embracing of Kashmris from Red Fort, will condemn Governor's statement. However, he did not say anything. May be he was busy."
"The Home Minister should have condemned it and initiated action against those indulging in attacks on Kashmiris and threatening them. But it too ignored it," he said.
The NC vice president said instead of taking action, they are resorting to more politics on it.
Another Governor, he said, is talking about abrogating of Article 370, which grants special status to J&K.
"The situation is being created to make people re-think on two-nation theory. They are being forced to have a rethink whether two-nation theory was a right or wrong decision," he said.
Referring to 2010 Maoist attack on CRPF in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh in which 76 CRPF men were killed, Omar said, "After the attack, nobody called for economic boycott of Chhattisgarh. No hotel denied accommodation to Chhattisgarh people. And no Governor called for boycott of Chhattisgarh".
"Why Kashmiris are being targeted? What is our fault? It is because J&K is a Muslim-majority state. Are we being punished for this very fact and targeted again and again," he said.
The former chief minister also took a dig at country's large opposition party, saying Congress too has remained silent on attacks on Kashmiris.
"We were expecting least from BJP and its leadership but unfortunately Congress too has not highlighted the miseries Kashmiri are facing nowadays," he said.
Referring to PM Modi, Omar said, "Elections will come and go. And if for elections you want to sacrifice Kashmiris for winning the election, then it will be big mistake of country."
"We need a statesman and not a politician. We are only finding politicians and not statesman," he said.
Omar also criticised central government for calling mainstream politicians "anti-nationals" whenever they call for a peaceful dialogue to resolve Kashmir issue.
"When we talk of dialogue to resolve Kashmir issue, we are being labelled as anti-national. However, in joint statement with Saudi Arabia, the government talked of composite dialogue," he added.