Dastageer shrine fire: Situation demands imposition of restrictions, says Omar Abdullah

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday said the situation arising in the wake of the Dastageer shrine fire demanded imposition of restrictions in some parts of the city, adding that he apologised to the people for the inconvenience.

“I make no apologies for the administrative measures used over the last few days in a handful of police stations. Situation demanded it,” Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.

The Chief Minister said the people who are making noise about the restrictions in old city would have been happier to see a repeat of 2010, when clashes between security forces and protesters became a routine.

“So while I have no hesitation in apologising to people inconvenienced by the restrictions, we did what we had to do to keep the peace,” Omar said.

“And if you want to see examples of people who would rather have seen blood spill on the streets, take a look at my time-line,” he added.

Omar alleged that there were people who would have liked to exploit the tragic loss of the shrine.

“Unfortunately there are people completely devoid of any scruples who would exploit the recent tragedy and that could not be allowed.”

Curfew-like restrictions were imposed on the movement of people in six police station areas of the old city for four consecutive days following the destruction of the 200-year-old shrine of Dastageer Sahib at Khanyar on Monday.