NEW DELHI, Aug 12: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said here today that the Eid festival in Jammu & Kashmir this year was observed more peacefully than several previous years and congratulated the people of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, as well as the administration, for ensuring peaceful smooth observance of the occasion in the true spirit and sanctity of Holy Quran.
Speaking in an exclusive Kashmir interview conducted by Doordarshan, Dr Jitendra Singh said, an unwarranted bogey is sought to be raised in the name of restrictions imposed in Jammu & Kashmir during the Eid festival, even though such restrictions have been regularly imposed every year, particularly since the advent of militancy nearly three decades ago, in order to check the possibility of Pak sponsored mischief or disruption. To that extent, he said, what is appreciable is that the Eid festival this year was celebrated with much more ease than many of the Eid festival occasions in previous years.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, those who are raking up this debate, actually have Article 370 abrogation in their subconscious mind, but are unable to recall that even when Article 370 was in force, such restrictions were imposed every time whenever there was a momentous occasion like Eid festival or Independence Day or Republic Day, This year incidentally, he said, the Independence Day happens to closely follow the Eid festival, but despite that, the process of withdrawal of restrictions has already begun.
Flaying the criticism by former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Dr Jitendra Singh said that during the Congress-NC governments, there were occasions when curfew was imposed indefinitely and sometimes the government even earned the dubious distinction of being described as “Curfew Government”. He said, Rahul Gandhi should look at his backyard and pick up a cue from the senior leaders of his party, who have supported the abrogation of Article 370 because they are wise enough not to alienate themselves from the popular public sentiment.