SRINAGAR: Home Minister Amit Shah, currently on his first post-August 5, 2019 visit to Kashmir, said the “5 August 2019 will be written in Golden letters”. The reading down of Article 370, he said, will be the end of terrorism, nepotism and corruption.
Shah said the restoration of the statehood will follow the elections before which the delimitation process will be completed.
“It was the end of terrorism, nepotism, corruption. Jammu and Kashmir youth has to contribute in the development of the Union Territory, it is their responsibility,” Shah was quoted saying in his address to the members of the Jammu and Kashmir Youth club. “Terrorism has reduced, stone pelting has become invisible. I want to assure you that strict action will be taken against those who want to ruin the peace of J&K, no one can obstruct development here. It’s our commitment.”
Justifying the imposition of curfew and snapping of the internet, Shah said these measures saved the youth. “People questioned curfew, internet suspension. Had there been no curfew, don’t know how many lives would have been lost,” Shah said. “Kashmir youth has been saved due to curfew, internet suspension. Three families ruled for 70 years. Why were 40,000 people killed?”
He said the day will come when Jammu and Kashmir will contribute a lot to the country. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision about Jammu and Kashmir is to convert it into a ‘giver’ and not a ‘taker’. “Before August 5, 2019, what did the 70 years of Independence give Jammu and Kashmir – 87 assembly, 6 Lok Sabha seats and three families,” Shah said. “I do not need to name those families.”
Unlike other states where Ayushman Bharat Yojana entitled the weaker sections of the society for Rs 5 lakh medical treatment, the Prime Minister extended the facility to the entire Jammu and Kashmir. “During 70 years till 2019, only 500 medical seats were available and after 2019, this number has increased to 1,120 and would soon be doubled,” Amit Shah said in his speech. “This did not happen during the 70 years till 2019 because those people were not interested in development, they played politics.”
The Home Minister said 100 per cent of homes in Jammu and Kashmir have access to electricity and LPG connections. He said employment processes was made merit oriented and completely transparent. Old-age pensions and other financial support schemes are now implemented through direct bank transfer skipping the middleman out.
“Earlier a common youth of Jammu and Kashmir could not imagine becoming a chief minister, union minister…It was restricted to a few families,” Shah was quoted saying. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it possible that the common youth can think of becoming an MLA, MP, Chief Minister…Democracy has been brought to the grassroots level. This was earlier restricted to a few families.”
The Home Minister said the government will not stop the delimitation process. “Why should we stop delimitation? Delimitation will happen, followed by elections and then restoration of statehood,” he insisted.
Soon after landing in Srinagar, Amit Shah paid a visit to the family of slain police inspector Parvez Ahmad in Nowgam and handed over his widow a job order. He later presided over a security review meeting. Afterwards, he spoke to the youth club members. Later in the evening, he 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,” he said. “We also declare the ‘Policy on Helicopter Operations in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir’ open from today.”
After the security review meeting, he said: “Today, I came to Jammu and Kashmir after around 2.15 years. It is a very happy moment for me as after the security review meeting, I’m having an event with the youngsters of Youth Club.” He addressed the Club members through a video link.
In the security review meeting, reports appearing in different media suggest, Amit Shah heard about the steps taken to combat militancy in Kashmir. The meeting was held in Raj Bhawan and was attended by all the top officers of all the members of the security grid. Officials told PT that Shah was briefed about the steps being taken to “eliminate terrorism from Jammu and Kashmir” and “counter-infiltration measures being taken by the forces”. A senior Home Ministry functionary told NDTV that security agencies explained their side of the story as to why, despite having many Indian forces in the area and extensive outreach efforts by the government, radicalisation and home-grown terrorism were on the rise. NDTV quoted an MHS officer saying: “The narrative of the centre is that J&K is safe for everyone… but these killings prove minorities and outsiders are not safe. This is a big concern for government… so a strategy to further reassure people was discussed.”
Shah later interacted with the families of slain Pandit Makhanlal Bindroo, school teacher Supinder Kaur and young sub-inspector Arshad Ahmad Mir. They had driven to the Raj Bhawan for the interaction. He will fly to Jammu on Sunday for a public rally.
(This report has been collated from diverse sources including local newsgatherers, ANI, PTI, NDTV and from the Twitter handles.)