‘A lot has changed in these 232 days’: Omar after his release

Mubashir Bukhari

Srinagar (NVI): Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who walked free out of Hari Niwas here today, said that a lot has changed since he was placed under detention on August 5 last year.

The National Conference (NV) leader’s PSA detention was revoked earlier today by the J&K Government.

“In these 232 days, a lot has happened, a lot has changed, for my period of detention, I had though a lot about what I say, the moment I walk out.” These were the first words of the former CM when he left Hari Niwas after near about eight-month detention period.

Omar, who has grown a long beard, said that during detention, he was thinking about the way the erstwhile state of J&K was divided into two UTs. “During these months, students didn’t attend schools, shopkeepers, hotels, all other establishments were shut. I was locked at only one place but the problems faced by the people of J&K during that period can’t be compensated,” he said.

The NC leader also commented on the coronavirus pandemic saying that at this time, “we are fighting a war of life and death.”

“I won’t talk about Article 370, 35A or bifurcation of state into two UTs. At present, I will speak about how we can get rid of Covid-19. Government has asked us to maintain social distancing, here we are together violating the very orders,” Omar said.

He also urged the Centre to releases all prisoners from detention keeping in view the current situation.

Talking to reporters at his Gupkar residence soon after his release, he said that all those persons detained after August 5 last year should be released. “Be it Mehbooba Mufti, or any other leaders irrespective of their affiliations, GoI should have some mercy on them and release them as soon as possible keeping in view the present situation,” he said.

Omar also requested Centre to restore 4G internet services as soon as possible. “How would people learn things to fight COVID19, when the internet speed is so slow,” he said.