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Posted at: Nov 20, 2019, 12:55 PM; last updated: Nov 20, 2019, 7:41 PM (IST)

Govt ready for discussion on J-K: Amit Shah in RS

Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 20

Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday asserted that contrary to misinformation and canards doing the rounds, there is total normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370 and said the government was ready for a discussion on the matter.

Responding to questions in Rajya Sabha during “Question Hour”, he said while telephone land services have been restored, a decision on restoring internet services will be taken only on the recommendation of the local administration.

“Although internet services are important, security of people have also to be taken care of. When it comes to security of Jammu and Kashmir and the people, and while waging war against terrorism, we have to fix our priorities,” Shah said.

The neighbouring country (read Pakistan) is active with its mischief against India. Taking a jibe at the Opposition benches, he said moratorium on operation of telephone and internet services had been resorted to in Jammu and Kashmir earlier too.

While Shah was on his feet during his response, which was punctuated by Congress members questioning his facts,  Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu  interceded saying he will allot time for discussion on Jammu and Kashmir “as soon as possible”.

“No single person has died in police firing after August 5 even as some leaders had raised alarm of bloodbath if Article 370 was abrogated,” said Shah, and added that a misinformation has been spread as everything is wrong and that there was violation of human rights.

“Restrictions have been lifted; schools, hospitals and others institutions are functioning normally. There is no general curfew in any areas of any of 195 police stations in the Valley. The CrPC is enforced only from 8 pm to 6 am, stressing that people do not assemble during night.

Stone-pelting incidents have come down to 544 so far this year from 802 incident last year,” Shah said.

He cited more 58.3 polling percentage in the recent BDC elections, opening of 20, 114 schools, and 99.78 per cent students appearing for 10th/12th standard as other indicators of normalcy.

Hospital and other health care institutions are functioning, and the number of people visiting OPDs was more than seven lakh—an increase in comparison to previous year.

The government has made arrangement to protect interest of apple growers, including safe transportation of the merchandise. NAFED has procured more than 6,000 metric tonne of apple. The expected production of apple is about 22.58 lakh metric tonne and the bulk of it have been transported to facilitate trades to sell their produced.

All TV channels and media organisations are functioning as normal, Shah said.

When Leader of the Opposition and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad questioned the data reeled out by Shah, the latter threw the gauntlet saying he was ready for discussion on Jammu and Kashmir separately.

“It seems the Home Minister is reading data of other state,” Azad, said objecting to the rosy claims of Shah.

In response to another question, Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said 5,161 arrest and detentions, including stone-pelters and political leaders, had been made as preventive measures. Many of them have been released.

Reddy said that soon an Advisory Board would be constituted to review the cases of those who are still in detention.

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