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‘Violence-free, most peaceful season in Kashmir, first in 20-30 years’: Govt

On National Conference MP Hasnain Masoodi’s remark regarding restrictions on mobile and internet network in J-K, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said it was just ‘half-truth’.

IANS | New Delhi |

The Central Government on Wednesday said it was a “violence-free” and “most peaceful” season in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir since August 5, the day when Article 370 that gave it special status was abrogated.

It was said by Union Minister Jitendra Singh in the Lok Sabha while speaking on National Conference MP Hasnain Masoodi’s claim during a discussion on the Supplementary Demands for Grants (First Batch) for 2019-20.

On Masoodi’s remark regarding restrictions on mobile and internet network in Jammu and Kashmir, the minister said it was just “half-truth”. “Internet is not suspended in the Jammu region. Only mobile network is suspended. People are using WiFi,” he said.

Stating that it was done to control militancy in the Valley, the Minister said, since August 5, it had by and large been a violence-free season and one of the most peaceful in the past 20-30 years. “We had Eid, Ramadan and Independence Day,” he said.

Singh also pointed to visuals in newspapers that showed crowded Sunday markets.

He said it had been reiterated by Home Minister Amit Shah in Parliament that “certain restrictions were there to avert untoward incidents.”

The Minister cited two incidents — one from Lakhanpur, the border district between J&K and Punjab, and other from Kishtwar — when militants were liquidated because they lost their way and could not have coordinates because of suspension of the mobile network.

On Masoodi’s query on Farooq Abdullah’s house arrest, Singh said: “This is not even house arrest. I would rather say Amit Shah is one of those kind-hearted Home Ministers who has put those people under house arrest in their own houses.”

He said when the Congress put Sheikh Abdullah under the house arrest, he was sent 2,000 km away to Kodaikanal, the hill town in Tamil Nadu.

“That is called house arrest. Where is this house arrest? They are sitting in their homes. These allegations are misplaced,” the Minister said.