Omar Abdullah hopes for normalcy to return in Kashmir valley

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 14, 2013 16:20 hrs

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday expressed hope that normalcy will soon return to the valley after witnessing curfew for the sixth consecutive day in wake of the execution of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Acknowledging the tense atmosphere in the valley following execution, Abdullah said that the curfew has severely affected trade, hospitality and tourism in the state.

"Yes, we have had a difficult week aftermath of the execution and we are still continuing to deal with that situation. It's had fallout on our tourism numbers already, we have seen a reduction in arrivals, seen a state of cancellations and I am hoping that the separatist leadership will not try and prolong this protest that they want to," sad Omar Abdullah.

A defiant Abdullah added that he has had reservations about Guru's execution and has made no efforts to hide the fact.

"We had serious apprehensions about the fallout of Afzal Guru's execution and I have made no secret of that fact, go back to previous public statements of mine, I have time and again told that I have reservations about the fallout of the execution of Afzal Guru. It is a fact and I made no effort to hide that," he added.

Commenting on the curfew situation in the valley, he said that restrictions would be eased after analysing the overall scenario and the public mood.

Guru was hanged at Delhi"s Tihar Jail at 8 a.m. on Saturday. He was buried inside the prison complex soon after his execution.

President Pranab Mukherjee rejected Guru's mercy plea on February 3 and a final decision to hang him was taken. Guru was convicted of conspiracy in the December 2001 attack on Parliament and was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in 2004.

On 13th December 2001, five heavily-armed gunmen stormed the Parliament complex and opened indiscriminate fire, killing nine persons. Guru was arrested within hours after the attack from a bus in the national capital. (ANI)

More from Sify: