Omar Abdullah takes on Army's Northern command chief over '2018 was remarkable year' remark

Northern Command chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh told reporters in Jammu on sidelines of a function that 2018 was a "good" and "remarkable" year.

Published: 17th January 2019 11:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th January 2019 11:47 PM   |  A+A-

Omar Abdullah

Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah (File | PTI)

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: The former Chief Minister and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah on Thursday took on Army's Northern Command chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh over his statement that 2018 was a great and remarkable year in view of the killing of over 250 militants.

Omar differed with him saying a great year would be the year when there would be no killings.

Northern Command chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh told reporters in Jammu on sidelines of a function that 2018 was a "good" and "remarkable" year.

"Over 250 militants were killed and 54 arrested and four others surrendered before security forces in Kashmir last year," he said.

The northern command chief said army along with other forces killed over 250 militants in 2018, which is highest in over a decade."It was a good year and speaks about the strength of the security forces. Our operations have been very successful and we inflicted heavy casualties on militants," he said.

At least 91 security men including 45 policemen and about 110 civilians also died in the militant violence last year, which was highest in over a decade.

The former chief minister and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah, however, differed with Northern Command chief's statement."I beg to differ, a great year would be one in which no young man would join militancy, no terrorists would be killed and no security personnel would lose their lives in encounters," Omar tweeted. He further said the compulsion of killing militants/terrorists should not be treated as a cause for celebration.

Omar's National Conference does not support "Operation All Out" launched by security forces against militants in Kashmir in 2017 after surging in militant violence.

"How can we support something, where there is suppression? It is not the question of 'All out'. We don't want our people to suffer. We don't want them to be beaten in their homes. It was never part of NC policy," NC president and MP Farooq Abdullah said recently.

He had said their party is not going to support any violence or violation of human rights. "Everyone is free and we live in free country. We as a government will have to see that freedom of expression is not curbed".

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