No communal angle in Art 370 repeal, curbs for security: Guv

TNN Bureau. Updated: 8/13/2019 11:38:13 AM Front Page

JAMMU: There was no communal angle in scrapping provisions of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and Centre’s decision to repeal the special status of the State was for its every resident across the three regions, Governor Satya Pal Malik asserted on Monday, even as he strongly rejected the allegations that Kashmir has been turned into a concentration camp due to heavy deployment of security forces and the ensuing restrictions imposed.
He defended the security restrictions imposed in Valley and some parts of the Jammu region as government’s responsibility to protect its citizens and said that the normal life will soon be at ease, while evading a direct answer on when the restrictions would be revoked in Kashmir.

"Will send aircraft for RaGa to visit Valley

Kashmir Valley not a concentration camp

Do not want even a single life to be lost"

Malik also hit out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his remarks that there have been reports of violence in Kashmir, saying he will send him an aircraft to visit the valley and observe the ground situation.
Since August 5, restrictions have been imposed while internet services including phone lines were suspended across the State after Centre abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir provided by Article 370, besides bifurcating it into two union territories.
While Jammu region is nearing normalcy, the imposition of various curbs continue in Kashmir Valley.
On Monday, Malik talked to media persons on a range of issues and asserted that there was no communal angle in scrapping provisions of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Scrapping of Article 370 and Article 35-A was for everyone. There is no communal angle (for scrapping it) in Leh, Kargil, Jammu, Rajouri-Poonch and not here either (Kashmir). There is no communal angle to it," he said.
Malik said that the issue was being fanned by some people but they were not successful in it.
"Foreign press has made an attempt (of wrong reportage) and we have warned them. All hospitals are open for you and if even a single person has been hit by a bullet, prove it. But only four people were hit by pellets in legs when there was violence by youths and there were no serious injuries to anyone," he said.
Replying to a question about allegations that Kashmir has been turned into a concentration camp, the governor said that despite being educated, people don't know the meaning of a concentration camp.
"I know what it is. I have gone to jail 30 times. Even then, I will not term it as a concentration camp. They (Congress) imprisoned people for one-and-half-years during Emergency, but nobody termed them concentration camps. Is preventative arrest (equal to) a concentration camp," he asked.
When asked about statements and reports by some leaders and the media about the violence in Kashmir, Malik hit out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and said that he will send him an aircraft to visit the valley and observe the ground situation.
"I have invited Rahul Gandhi to come here. I will send you a plane, to observe (the situation) and then speak up. You are a responsible person and you should not speak like this," Malik said.
On Saturday night, Gandhi said that some reports had come in from Jammu and Kashmir about the violence there and Prime Minister Narendra Modi must assuage concerns over the matter in a transparent manner.
The governor said Gandhi should feel ashamed about the behaviour of one of his leaders who was talking like an "idiot" in Parliament.
The Governor said that Eid prayers were offered in all mosques in Kashmir Valley peacefully.
"Today, namaz was offered by the people in every mosque. Namaz took place in every locality," Malik said.
He said that security restrictions were relaxed on Saturday and Sunday and people did shopping in normal conditions and all arrangements were put in place.
"But in troubled places, we will try to ensure peace because we don't want even a single life to be lost or people get injured. It is the responsibility of the government to protect our citizens," he said.
"We don't want troublemakers or any other element creating trouble in which any loss of life takes place and then media and others blame us as to why you could not stop this. Except some limited places, in the rest people are moving freely," he said.
Replying to a question as to when normalcy will return and communication network restored in Kashmir, Malik said that the government did not clamp curfew, but imposed restrictions only.
"For the past two days, everything was totally open. Markets were open, people were shopping. Today is Eid, it is normal. If some people want to create trouble it is our responsibility to stop them. It will soon be at ease," he said.

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