Srinagar —  The state Government has decided to deal ‘‘firmly’’ with the National Conference (F) which has launched a full-scale agitation from May 1 in order to “restore democracy in the state.” The Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. D. Thakur arrived here on Sunday to plan the government’s strategy to deal with the agitation.

Mr. Thakur is looking after the work of the Chief Minister, Mr. G. M. Shah who has gone to the US to meet his children. His wife, Begum Khalida Shah, is already here. Soon after landing in Srinagar on Sunday, Mr. Thakur rushed to his official residence, where he had a prolonged meeting with the divisional commissioner, Mr. G.Q. Lone, and senior police officials.

Mr. M.K. Khajooria, director general of police, who is touring the border district of Rajouri, has been asked to cut short his tour and rush to Srinagar. Sources close to the Government said it had received reports that the former chief minister, Mr. Farooq Abdullah has planned a “violent” agitation. Mr. Abdullah in a speech at Hazratbal on Friday is said to have made it clear that he should not be expected to keep the agitation a peaceful one.

That the NC (F) leadership has sought the cooperation of the Awami Action Committee and the People’s Conference, two militant organizations well known for their “fighting power,’’ makes it clear that the proposed agitation of Mr. Abdullah would be a “‘bloody”’ one. Mr. Abdullah has told the people to be ready to make sacrifices if they wanted to live with ‘‘dignity’’ and not as “‘slaves”’ and ‘“‘puppets.”’

The Government has reports that the recent bus accident at Zainakadal in downtown Srinagar, in which one youth was killed, was blown out of proportion by local NC (F) and Awami Action Committee workers only to gather momentum for the proposed agitation. The police had to resort to firing, tear gassing and lathi charge to quell the agitators.

Some political workers, out of whom 36 were arrested, made two attempts to set the famous Zainakadal Bridge on fire. The bomb blast and fire in Laduwan temple near the famous shrine of Kheerbhawani last week are also seen as attempts to create mischief. Miscreants on Saturday night tried to set on fire the car of Mr. Shuban Kishan Tickoo, an important functionary of the ruling National Conference, at Habbakadal. The administration had decided to call back all the nine companies of the CRP and other paramilitary forces from Ladakh, although the result of the Ladakh parliamentary seat which went to the polls on April 24 is yet to be declared.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 10, 1985