Mourners can wait but wazwan cannot! When entire Kashmir was mourning the killing of a teenager at Naidkhai, Omar Abdullah's National Conference (NC) was busy relishing multi-cuisine mutton dishes — wazwan — at a party meeting, sparking a massive outrage in the Valley.
What added a new dimension to whole saga was the use of police vehicles to ferry the lunch to the Nawa-i-Subh (party headquarters) in an alleged violation of the model code of conduct.
NC leaders had converged at the Nawa-i-Subh for a provincial working committee meeting which was addressed by Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah. What came as a surprise was the arrival of the police mini-truck at the party office with wazas (chefs) on board to serve the multi cuisine dishes to the leaders.
"It was his (waza) arrangement and the party had paid for it. How he got the wazwan we had nothing to do with it. And when chief minister comes there are not one but dozens of police vehicles. In fact entire Nawa-i-Subh was under security cover," Mustafa Kamal, additional general secretary of NC and Omar's uncle told dna.
On the timing of serving wazwan, NC leader said no body knew before hand that somebody would be killed on that particular day. "Could cancelling this meeting bring this man to life? Life does not stop. We don't mean any disrespect to anybody", he said.
Kamal's defence notwithstanding, opposition parties are up in arms against the NC for "disrespecting the dead" and "misuse of the official machinery".
"The NC knows that they are on the last legs. They are enjoying the luxury when state is in deep distress. Particularly when the people are in mourning over the cold blood murder (of a youth in Naidkhai). Obviously there is a thin line for the NC demarcating the state and personal estate", said Naeem Akthar, chief spokesman of PDP.
Awami Ittihaad Party (AIP) led by architect of 'Save Afzal Guru' resolution Sheikh Abdul Rasheed aka Engineer Rasheed regretted that even 24 hours had not passed since the killing of Farhat Ahmad Dar when NC relished wazwan which is very unfortunate and highly condemnable.
"People do not expect anything from NC. There are different set of rules for people living in Kashmir and others. It is very unfortunate. Plus they have also violated model code of conduct," said Engineer Rasheed.
Meanwhile, protests and stone pelting rocked various parts of the Valley even as the government had imposed restrictions at several places as a precautionary measure. Police have also registered a case of murder under section 302 RPC.
J&K government has also ordered a magisterial enquiry headed by additional district commissioner Bandipora to probe the killing of Farhat Ahmad Dar at Naidkhai Sumbal on Friday evening.
Both factions of Hurriyat Conference has called for Kashmir bandh on Sunday to protest the killing of Farhat Ahmad Dar.