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J&K detentions made in national interest: Centre

No connection: Newspaper offices and other media houses still function without Internet in Kashmir. NISSAR AHMAD NISSAR AHMAD  

Home Minister Amit Shah said in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that normalcy had been restored in Jammu and Kashmir and not a single person had been killed in police firing since the legislation relating to Article 370 had been passed by Parliament.

Replying to a separate question on whether the government would enable Srinagar MP Farooq Abdullah to attend Parliament, Minister of State Kishan G. Reddy, without directly naming Dr. Abdullah, indicated that he was among persons that authorities had had to detain in the “national interest”.

 

Deshhit ke liye alag alag logon ko alag alag samay main desh ne arrest kiya hai. Main yaad dilana chahta hun emergency main 33 MPs ko arrest kiya gaya tha (In national interest, from time to time, different persons have been arrested. One must remember that during the Emergency, 33 MPs were arrested),” Mr. Reddy said in his reply, triggering a furore that saw Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad ask, “Are you saying, Farooq Abdullah is against national interest?”

Preventive arrests

Also, for the first time since Parliament passed the legislation to withdrawn the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, the Home Ministry on Wednesday revealed that a total of 5,161 persons had been detained as part of preventive arrests made in the Valley since August 4. In a written reply to a question posed by DMK MP Tiruchi Siva, the Ministry said, “With a view to prevent commission of offences involving breach of peace and activities prejudicial to the security of the State and maintenance of the public order, 5,161 preventive arrests, including stone pelters, miscreants, overground workers, separatists and political workers were made since 4th August in Kashmir Valley.”

The Home Minister said government offices and courts were fully functioning now, with 36,192 cases having been heard and orders delivered in 500 cases.

The Ministry, however, didn’t specify how many of these 5,161 persons were politicians.

Stating that 609 persons were still under detention, the Ministry said of these 218 were stone pelters. Elaborating on the answers, Mr. Reddy said that an advisory board under the Public Safety Act was being constituted and that people would be released after a review.

Observing that an advisory board had to be constituted within four weeks, Mr. Siva remarked that the board had not been constituted in four months now. 

Earlier, to a question posed by Congress member T. Subbarami Reddy, Mr. Shah asserted that contrary to apprehensions expressed in the House, normalcy had been restored in Jammu and Kashmir. 

Explained | How Kashmir's Special Status and Article 370 are being changed

“During the debate on Article 370 many here claimed that rivers of blood will flow in Kashmir. But I am happy to report that not a single person has been killed in police firing,” Mr. Shah said. Internet connectivity would be restored as per the assessment of the local administration, he added. “As far as Internet service is concerned, an appropriate action will be taken on the recommendation of the local administration. Neighbouring country is still doing some mischief and we will restore the connection as soon as the local administration says it is fit to do so,” the minister said. 

He said that prohibitory orders under Section 144 were prevalent only in certain areas, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., in the Valley. Incidence of stone pelting had reduced with the number of incidents declining to 544 so far in 2019, from 802 in 2018, Mr. Shah said.

The Home Minister asserted that government offices and courts and were fully functioning now, with 36,192 cases having been heard and orders delivered in as many as 500 cases. He also pointed to the fact that Block Development Council elections had been held peacefully and successfully. Mr. Shah further said that as many as 20,114 schools had reopened. Out of 50,537 students, 50,272 students comprising 99.48% had appeared for exams. About 99.7% of students had taken their Class 9 and 10 exams.

Hospitals were also functioning and 7.66 lakh patients had visited the OPD at Srinagar hospitals in September and 7.91 lakh in October, he asserted, adding that adequate quantity of medicines were being made available in the Valley and that there was no shortage.

“If anyone has information that a particular person in a remote area is not getting medical facility, they can contact me directly. I will get it done in 24 hours,” Mr. Shah said.

Cooperative NAFED had so far procured about 6,000 tonnes of apples from Kashmir. Apple production was estimated to be 22.58 lakh tonnes and most of the produce had been shipped out of Jammu and Kashmir.

As the Home Minister gave out figures indicating ‘normalcy’ in the Valley, Mr. Azad remarked, “It looks like the Home Minister has been handed out report of another State.”

Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, however, cut off the possibility of any further exchanges between the Treasury and Opposition benches on the issue by saying that there would be a separate debate on the subject.

Normalcy in Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah arrested for “deshhit” or National Interest and 5161 preventive arrests so far

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 6:08:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/normalcy-restored-in-jammu-and-kashmir-says-amit-shah-in-rajya-sabha/article30025699.ece

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