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The identity of people of Jammu and Kashmir not tampered with: Governor

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik salutes during Independence Day celebrations in Srinagar on August 15 2019.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik salutes during Independence Day celebrations in Srinagar on August 15 2019.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Malik hoists tricolour in first I-Day celebration after abrogation of special status

The identity of people of Jammu and Kashmir is neither at stake nor tampered with after the abrogation of the special status by the Centre, Governor Satya Pal Malik said on Thursday after hoisting the national flag on the 73rd Independence Day here on Thursday.

‘Changes historical’

Terming the changes introduced by the Centre “historical,” Mr. Malik said they would open a new door of development and help various communities promote their languages and cultures in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

“In the last 70 years people were led astray from the main issues of economic development, peace and prosperity. Instead of paying attention to these issues, people were misled on issues which are irrelevant to their lives,” he said at the Sher-i-Kashmir stadium in his address on the first Independence Day function in the Valley after the abrogation.

The function was attended by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

Mr. Malik said it was surprising that in all the previous elections, focus of people was not brought on issues of ‘Roti, Kapda aur Makaan [employment, clothing and housing]’.

“These changes have removed the hurdles for economic development and prosperity,” he said.

Good governance

Mr. Malik said the step would enable good governance, bring self-reliance and employment opportunities to people of Jammu and Kashmir and most importantly the feeling of unity and equality with the rest of the country.

“I want to assure people of Jammu and Kashmir that their identity is neither at stake nor has been tampered with. Indian Constitution allows many regional identities to prosper... Nobody should be bothered that their identity will finish because of the steps taken by the Central government... This step can be used to promote language, culture and identities,” he said.

Local tribes which did not have political representation would now get it under the new system, he said.

Return of Pandits

He said his government was committed to the safe return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley.

After unfurling the flag, Mr. Malik inspected the parade of paramilitary forces and the Jammu and Kashmir Police led by Senior Superintendent of Police Manzoor Ahmed Dalal.

Defeat of terrorists

He said the government had a zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism and sustained efforts by the armed forces had ensured the defeat of terrorists.

There was a sharp decline in terror recruitment and incidents of stone pelting after Friday prayers, he said.

Talking about his one-year administration, Mr. Malik said he had tried to empower people through grass-roots democracy.

He said the urban local body elections in October and the second-ever panchayat polls in November-December were held after a long gap and people came out in large numbers to send a clear message to terrorists and separatists.

Kashmiri apple

Agriculture was the mainstay of the economy and Kashmiri apple and other fruits had already created a niche for themselves, Mr. Malik said. The Investment Summit proposed later this year would focus on investment and expertise in these areas.

Prominent mainstream leaders were not present at the Independence Day function as they have been detained as a precautionary measure. Second-rung BJP leaders, however, were among those present in the stands during Mr. Malik’s address.

Heavy security

Unprecedented security arrangements were made. All roads leading to the stadium were sealed but people with special passes were allowed to proceed to the venue.

This year, no school contingents took part in the Independence Day parade or the cultural programme that followed it.

A group of enthusiastic people visiting Kashmir shouted “Vande Matram” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 7:33:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/the-identity-of-people-of-jammu-and-kashmir-not-tampered-with-governor/article29103071.ece

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