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Shah tries to touch a chord with Valley

Sunday, 24 October 2021 | Mohit Kandhari | Jammu

Statehood after delimitation & polls to follow soon, says HM

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday attempted to strike an “emotional” bond with the youth in Jammu & Kashmir as he invited them to embark on the journey of peace, development and prosperity in order to strengthen the “roots of democracy”.

During his maiden visit to J&K after the abrogation of Article 370, Shah also reiterated that the “Statehood” will be restored soon after the delimitation exercise  followed by elections.

“Why should we stop delimitation? Delimitation will happen, followed by elections and then restoration of Statehood…I want to be friends with the Kashmiri youth,” Shah said while interacting with the members of the youth clubs.

Addressing the event, Shah said, “Kashmir has seen a new beginning — from fear, terrorism, corruption, and family-based politics to peace, development, and prosperity. The youth of Jammu & Kashmir has strengthened this change.

“Terrorism has reduced, stone pelting has become invisible and. I want to assure you that strict action will be taken against those who want to disrupt the peace and harmony of Jammu & Kashmir. No one can obstruct development here. It is our commitment.”

Soon after his arrival in Srinagar, the Union Home Minister went straight to the residence of late Parvez Ahmad, Inspector of CID, to condole his death and met his family and stayed there for around 20 minutes. Ahmad was killed by terrorists in June.

He also handed over an appointment order to the next of kin of the police officer on compassionate grounds.

Later, he chaired a high-level security review meeting with the top brass of the Indian Army, BSF, CRPF, J&K Police chief along with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at Raj Bhawan. 

Official sources said, “Issues centring around radicalisation of youth, spurt in incidents of targeted killings of members belonging to the minority communities and cross border infiltration remained the focal point of threadbare discussions which continued for almost five hours.”

“Necessary directions were issued to the security forces to effectively tackle the security situation on ground zero,” an official said.

Communicating with the youth, Shah urged them to introspect what did the previous Governments give to Jammu & Kashmir in 70 years? “87 MLAs, 6 MPs and 3 families Prime Minister Narendra Modi  has made it possible for about 30,000 elected representatives in the Panchayat elections, who are serving the people today.

“Post-independence, the Government of India helped Jammu & Kashmir, but the poverty, unemployment did not go away, infrastructure did not develop. Now poverty is going from here, people are getting employment opportunities,” he said.

Responding to the political voices which opposed handling of the situation post Abrogation of Article 370, Shah said, “People questioned curfew, internet suspension. Had there been no curfew, I don’t know how many lives would have been lost. Kashmir youth has been saved due to curfew, internet suspension…3 families ruled for 70 years…Why were 40,000 people killed?”

Late in the evening, the Union Home Minister inaugurated the Srinagar-Sharjah international flight. “We declare it open from today. This will help in boosting tourism and bring more investment in the Union Territory. We also declare the ‘Policy on Helicopter Operations in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir’ open from today.”

Shah also met in Raj Bhawan family members of civilians and security personnel who lost their lives in the recent attacks in different parts of Kashmir valley.

Shah met the family of Kashmir pandit pharmacist Makhal Lal Bindroo, husband of school principal Supinder Kour and families of police personnel who made supreme sacrifices in the line of duty.

Responding to the maiden visit of the Union Home Minister, former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said inaugurating international flights from Srinagar and laying the foundation of new medical colleges was nothing new.

“Half a dozen medical colleges were sanctioned by the UPA Government and are functional now. Post Article 370 abrogation and an engineered crisis, J & K has been thrown into chaos,” she added.

“Prior to his visit, 700 civilians were detained, booked under the Public Safety Act and many shifted to jails outside Kashmir. Such oppressive steps further vitiate an already tense atmosphere. Normalcy acrobatics are in full swing while reality is denied and obfuscated,” she said.

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