J&K To Get Statehood After Normalcy Is Restored: GoI

Parliament building – PTI File Photo

New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir would be granted statehood at an “appropriate” time after normalcy is restored there, the government told Parliament on Wednesday.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai stated this in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.

He was replying to a question on whether the government had any proposal to “reinstate” the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir and whether some efforts have been made to end the year-long ban on different means of communication.

“Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir would be granted at an appropriate time after normalcy is restored in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

“In view of the constitutional changes and bifurcation of the erstwhile state of the Jammu and Kashmir into Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union territory of Ladakh, in national interest and also in the interest of security of J&K, temporary restrictions on various communication channels like internet and mobile services were resorted to in Jammu and Kashmir,” the minister stated.

Subsequently, the matter “was reviewed from time to time and restrictions imposed were gradually eased out in a phased manner and 4G internet data services were restored in the entire Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir from February 5, he said.

The Centre had revoked the special status of the erstwhile state that was provided to it under Article 370 and bifurcated it into union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh in 2019.

Militancy On Decline

Meanwhile government told parliament on Wednesday that the number of incidents of militant violence have come down in Jammu and Kashmir in the last two years.

In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said, “The number of terrorist incidents has reduced during 2020 by 59 per cent as compared to 2019 and 32 per cent up to June, 2021 in comparison with the corresponding period up to June, 2020.”

The question was put to the home ministry seeking details of the law-and-order situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the steps taken by it to improve the scenario.

“Shops and business establishments, public transport, government offices, educational and health institutions etc. are functioning normally in UT of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The government has adopted a policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism and has taken various measures such as strengthening of security apparatus, strict enforcement of law against anti-national elements, intensified cordon-and-search operations to effectively deal with the challenges posed by the terrorist organisations,” the minister stated in his reply.

He added that security forces also keep a close watch on those who attempt to provide support to militants and initiate action against them.

“The government has also continuously encouraged policies to mainstream the youth, including providing employment opportunities, to wean them away from militancy. Adequate strength of forces are deployed in Jammu and Kashmir for augmenting the counter-insurgency grid, strengthening internal security and maintaining law and order,” Rai said.

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