Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said in the Rajya Sabha that not a single person has died in Kashmir, since the abrogation of Article 370 and that “the government will restore Internet connection in Kashmir as soon as the local administration feels it is fit to do so”.
During the Question Hour, in response to a series of questions on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Shah also asserted that not a single person has died in police firing after August 5 when the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir was scrapped.
He also said all newspapers and TV channels are functioning in Kashmir and there is no decline in circulation of newspapers.
Shah said, “The situation there was always normal. There were many notions spread all over the world. There is total normalcy prevailing. After August 5, not a single person has died in police firing although many feared there would be bloodshed and more number of killings.”
After discussions on Kashmir, during the debate on NRC, Home Minister said, “The NRC exercise was monitored by the SC. No religion has been targeted or isolated during the NRC exercise.”
Shah further said that the government will provide asylum to people of all religions. “The exercise of NRC will be carried out in the entire country.”
While on the concerns raised on the issue of exclusion of the names from the final draft of the NRC in Assam, Shah said, “People whose names are not in the NRC have the right to approach the tribunal. The Assam government is also ready to bear the cost of legal remedy for people who can’t afford it.”
In a historic development, Jammu and Kashmir ceased to exist as a state from October 31and has been officially bifurcated into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The state has been officially divided into the two Union Territories pursuant to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019, which the government passed in Parliament on August 5.
On August 5, the Centre abrogated Article 370, that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
The implementation of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which got President’s assent on August 9, means the special status enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 comes to an end after 72 years.
According to the Act, the UT of J&K will have a legislature while the UT of Ladakh will have no legislature.
While the National Register of Citizens (NCR) list was published on August 31, in the state. The NRC had left out more than19 lakh people from the list.
The NRC list in Assam included names of 3.1 crore people. In the left out names BJP alleged that many Bengali Hindu refugees who had come to Assam before 1971 or people who couldn’t furnish enough documents were also left out. On the exclusion of anyone’s name from the NRC a decision can only be taken by a foreigners tribunal after following the proper legal process.