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Tough time ahead for Omar Abdullah

Mainstream and separatist leaders have termed it the ‘Gool bloodbath’ as heightened tensions followed Thursday’s killings of four protesters and injuries to 43 others in Ramban district, severely jolting peace, tourism and the ongoing Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir.

Omar Abdullah

For Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, the going could simply not have been tougher.

His repeated statements that extreme action against civilians during protests would not be tolerated hold little water in the eyes of the common Kashmiris. Abdullah’s political detractors are using the chief minister's discomfort to the hilt.

In its knee-jerk response, the separatist call for a three-day protest shutdown, which will be lifted tomorrow.

The authorities have given strict instructions to both the local police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel deployed on law and order duties to exercise maximum restraint to ensure that no civilian casualty occurs during the protests.

The Jammu-Srinagar highway was opened as the situation remained largely peaceful. 

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