Former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said the National Conference government will repeal controversial Public Safety Act (PSA) on the first day if his party came to power in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Public Safety Act was first enacted by the J-K government headed by National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1978 to curb timber smuggling. The law, which provides for detention of up to two years without trial, was used against terrorists and separatists after the eruption of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990.
“They (Centre) have only kept those (old) laws here which can be used to harass the people. There is no (Public) Safety Act anywhere in the country… it is only in Jammu and Kashmir. I have said it earlier and I repeat when National Conference government comes, on the first day, this law will be repealed,” Omar told party workers at Dooru in Anantnag district.
While the Centre did away with a large number of laws passed by the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, PSA was one of the few laws that were retained even after abrogation of Article 370 and reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019.
Omar said abrogation of Article 370 will be an issue in the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, which will be first polls in the union territory after the August 2019 move of the Centre.
“It is obvious that this election will not be contested merely on bijli, sadak, pani (electricity, roads and water). Whatever has happened since August 5, 2019 will be an issue in the elections. Lets see what the people’s verdict is,” he added.
The former chief minister said his party will take all the steps to protect the identity and interests of people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The mineral extraction contracts are given to outsiders …. even the postman who delivers letters will be brought in from other places. Our youth are not deemed fit for these jobs,” he claimed.
“I would have had no objection to these things but then they should take our youth and give them jobs in Haryana, Punjab, UP and other states. They should allow our contractors to do mining in Punjab. But they won’t do it,” he added.
Omar said a National Conference government will ensure that the land and the resources of Jammu and Kashmir are reserved for the local people only.
On the development front, Omar lambasted the J-K administration alleging it was not able to carry out even 10 per cent of the works that should have been done.
“During our time, we might have been able to get only 70 per cent of the works done but this administration has failed to get even 10 per cent done,” he claimed.