Thu, 09 Dec 2021

New Delhi [India], October 25 (ANI): Following a series of targeted killings in Jammu and Kashmir, former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said that militancy has increased in the Valley and the present situation has instilled fear in people.

"It is a matter of concern. Because of targeted killings, there is fear among the common public. People of Jammu and Kashmir have expressed their concern and have demanded peace. There is an increase in targeted killings from the past few months. There are attacks on the army," he said in an interview with ANI Sunday.

Azad responded to reports that Rahul Gandhi and he gave contradictory statements over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

He said, "...I visited a religious leaderprivate conversation began. Some media persons filmed it...They aired only half of it...I'd also said that militancy increased.

Azad clarified that he had said, "There is no peace in the Valley and the media had released only a part of his conversation with a religious leader which ignited the controversy."The Congress leader added that during his visit, he met people from different districts and spoke to a delegation of different constituencies. "I spoke to them about militancy, unemployment, present situation of Jammu and Kashmir, whether the election should be held or not, or they want statehood or union territory," he said.

Highlighting the demands of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, he said that people expressed that they want statehood. "They said that there is huge unemployment. They want educational institutions to open," he said.

According to the Congress leader, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir was better during the COVID-19 pandemic and a spike in attacks was witnessed in the last few months.

Azad also said that tourism and economic activity had just started in Jammu and Kashmir after a halt but the targeted killings of civilians by "anti-India" elements were ignited to stop people from coming into the union territory. (ANI)

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