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Omar promises high security for Amar Nath yatra

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
May 29, 2009 23:37 IST
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Inclement weather could delay the annual Amar Nath Yatra, hinted Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

"We have not been able to place security forces in place because of bad weather and hopefully the yatra will begin in June second week. Maybe, around 10. The yatra will last two months," Omar said. The state, he said, made arrangements to ensure a peaceful yatra.

"Neither the Centre nor the state has anything to do with yatra. It is the Amarnath shrine board's duty to ensure that the yatra stays uninterrupted.  If you ask me if we have made fool-proof security arrangements, then I am afraid I would say that it is all in the hands of Allah. We hope that nothing happens during the yatra," he added.

Omar Abdullah's 15-minute meeting with Chidambaram delved on the "draconian laws in Jammu and Kashmir".

Earlier, the young chief minister met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"As far as the autonomy is concerned, Dr Singh has appointed a committee headed by Justice Shagir Ahmed. I have written to him asking him to begin the work. I am sure that the next five years of the UPA government will be able to find a solution to the Jammu and Kashmir problem. Developments in Pakistan have always caused concern whether it be within the terrorist groups or Taliban. Relatively things are under control if you look at the polling within the state. But you never know when they start flexing their arms," the chief minister said.

When asked about his father Dr Abdullah's new portfolio, he said, "You know what Kapil Sibal did to the department of Oceanography. Till today journalists did not know where the department of renewable energy is. But with Dr Abdullah around, he can bring some glamour to the ministry."

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi