JAMMU: National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said Union Home Minister Amit Shah's visit to Jammu and Kashmir was imperative in the backdrop of the recent targeted killings of civilians that have triggered panic among the minorities and non-local labourers who have started fleeing the valley.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, however, questioned the claim of the BJP that militancy has been wiped out from the Union Territory.
"Jammu and Kashmir is under the direct rule of the Centre and the emerging situation demanded his (Shah's) visit, which was imperative. He has come and people have high hopes that this (targeted attacks) will end and he will be able to provide security to them," he said.
Eleven civilians, including two teachers, a pharmacy owner and five non-local labourers, have been killed by militants in separate attacks in the valley this month.
Speaking in Rajouri district on the first day of his three-day tour of the Pir Panchal region, Abdullah said many in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are claiming that militancy has been finished and the borders have been sealed in Jammu and Kashmir.
"If the claim is true, one wonders how they (militants) come and carry out the attacks," he added.
The NC leader said 900 youngsters, who were accused of stone-pelting in the past, have been arrested ahead of the home minister's visit to the Union Territory.
"Will you get peace by arresting the youngsters? Your policies are not favourable to Jammu and Kashmir and the fact of the matter is that you are polarising people and creating a big danger for the country with an eye on the upcoming election in Uttar Pradesh," he said.
Abdullah said it is better for the BJP to lose the Uttar Pradesh polls rather than winning the election by "spreading hatred and dividing communities".
He said nobody is willing to come to Kashmir in view of the emerging situation that has led to the migration of labourers and Kashmiri Pandits who had got jobs under the prime minister's package here.
"They are seeking investors but who will come to invest under the present situation? I do not see any development happening in Jammu and Kashmir (post the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution in 2019). They (Centre) promised 50,000 jobs but where did these jobs go? Inflation has broken the backbone of the poor," the former chief minister said.
He urged the government to give salaries to the Kashmiri Pandits who have returned to Jammu out of fear.
Referring to the all-party meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, Abdullah said no concrete step was taken to remove "Dilli ki Doori and Dil Ki Doori" as promised by him.
"Political prisoners are still in jails, which is very unfortunate. They (Centre) should keep the promises made to the people of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.