JAMMU & KASHMIR | The above statement came in response from Governor Satya Pal Malik to a question raised during the media address on the need of continuing the “preventive detention” of former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti, and Farooq and Omar Abdullah. While justifying Centre’s action he argued that the more politicians spend time in jail, the more political dividends they are likely to accrue.
“Don’t you want that people should become leaders. I have gone to jail 30 times. Those who will go to jail, will become leaders. Let them be there. The more they spend time in the jail, the more they will claim during elections…that I have spent six months behind bars…So if you sympathise with them, do not be sad over detention. And they all are in their homes. I was jailed in Fatehgarh (Uttar Pradesh) during the Emergency where it used to take two days to reach. If someone is detained in any issue, if he is wise, he will take political benefit. I am wishing them well,” the governor said.
On the question about mobile phone and internet connectivity, Governor said, “We are opening mobile phone connectivity in Kupwara and Handwara districts(of Kashmir), soon we will open connectivity in other districts as well,” meanwhile justifying that the restriction had been imposed as these facilities were abused as “a weapon” against the country and mostly exploited by terrorists to mobilise the people.
On the question about civilian casualty the governor denied any loss of life but mentioned about few civilian casualty,“Every Kashmiri life is valuable to us, we don’t want the loss of even a single life. There has been no civilian casualty, only the few who got violent are injured, they also have below the waist injuries.” However, in a recent article published in The Hindu, as many as 36 persons have received pellet injuries in the Kashmir Valley since August 5, as told by a senior government official to The Hindu.
Touching upon the topic of growth and economic development, governor mentioned government’s plan of creating 50,000 jobs for the youth along with creating a conducive environment for businessmen and traders in Kashmir. The region is seeing socio-economic crisis after Centre decided to remove the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on 5 August. Schools have been shut since and even after administration’s appeal to open the schools, students have not been attending. There is a wide unrest and a sense of insecurity among the Kashmiri population since many political and non-political local personalities have been kept on watch by the Center.
The latest update today is that mobile phone services have resumed in five districts of the Jammu region in Jammu and Kashmir. Starting Wednesday night, the services were restored in Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri, and Poonch districts. The services were suspended across the state on 5 August, in view of security concerns in the region following Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370.
With the state of turmoil that continues to grip situation in Kashmir, and lackadaisical approach the civic authorities towards local demands and need,the Indian government needs to act in accordance with the constitutional legality to arise trust and peace in the valley. Until then the unsettling times will continue to attract questions on the real objective of the authorities.