To begin with, mobiles to be restored in Kupwara, Handwara
Don’t be sad about political detentions, can’t bring 370 back
JAMMU, Aug 28: Post abrogation of special Constitutional provisions of Jammu and Kashmir, Governor Satya Pal Malik today announced major employment package for the State youth saying 50,000 vacancies will be filled in next two to three months which will be in addition to recruitment in Army, Central Armed Police Forces, Ladakh Scouts Act and declared that the Central Government was also likely to come up with announcement on developmental related projects soon.
Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, Malik said there will be no mobile connectivity issue in all 10 districts of Jammu division and two of Ladakh and shortly they will also restore mobile phone services in Kupwara and Handwara police districts but called upon the people to bear the restrictions of Internet for more days saying it could be used for mobilization and indoctrination of the youth by the militants. Click here to watch video
“All officers led by Chief Secretary (BVR Subrahmanyam) have conducted an extensive exercise and identified 50,000 vacancies in the Government departments, which will be filled in next two to three months,’’ the Governor said and asserted that never in the past such a package has been announced in the State.
He said these vacancies were in addition to job opportunities in defence forces including Army, BSF, CRPF and Ladakh Scouts etc.
Advisor K Vijay Kumar, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam and Director General of Police Dilbag Singh were also present at the press conference.
“The Central Government is also expected to come up with an announcement on developmental related projects for Jammu and Kashmir in next few days,’’ Malik said.
The Governor, however, said he can’t bring Article 370 back (which was abrogated by the Central Government on August 5) but will solve all problems of the people including traders, educational institutions etc.
Pointing out that mobile telephones have been working in six districts of Jammu region, Malik said from today they will be operational in all 10 districts of Jammu (except one area) and there will be no mobile connectivity issues in Jammu and Ladakh regions. In next few days, the mobile telephones will be restored in Kupwara and Handwara police districts.
Sources said mobile phone services may remain snapped in Banihal area of Jammu.
Asserting that the militants have been threatening petrol pump owners, he hinted at keeping mobile internet shut for some more days saying it was most dangerous instrument and can be used by Pakistan and terrorists for mobilization and indoctrination.
“It was being used as a weapon against us and that’s why it has been stopped,’’ he said.
He added: “We will probably be opening Internet a little late which people will have to bear because that is the most dangerous instrument. Entire lie is spread by using that medium’’.
He said landline telephones have been restored in 46 out of 96 exchanges and mobile phone services will be relaxed as the situation improves.
The Governor reiterated his assurance to the people of Jammu and Kashmir that their identity, culture, religion, society, language and heritage will be protected and preserved. This is the solemn assurance of the Prime minister (Narendra Modi), he said.
Replying to a question on detention of political leaders, Malik said: “The more politicians spend time in jail the more political dividends they are likely to accrue”.
Malik was asked about the continued detention of three former Chief Ministers — Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — and other politicians and a timeline for their release.
“Don’t you want that people should become leaders? I have gone to jail 30 times. Those who will go to jail, will become leaders. Let them be there. The more they spend time in the jail, the more they will claim during elections…that I have spent six months behind bars..
“So if you sympathize with them, do not be sad over detention. And they all are in their homes. I was jailed in Fatehgarh during the Emergency where it used to take two days to reach. If someone is detained in any issue, if he is wise, he will take political benefit. I am wishing them well,” the Governor said.
Malik took a jibe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his stand on Kashmir, saying he has behaved like a “political juvenile” and asked the Congress to clear its stand on the issue.
Asked about Gandhi’s statement on alleged violence in Kashmir, the Governor said, “Rahul Gandhi is a man from a prestigious family of the country, but he has behaved like a political juvenile. The outcome of that (statement) is that Pakistan has quoted his statement in its letter to the UN. He should not have done that.”
“I should not be saying this but when elections come, their opponents simply need to say that they (Congress party) are sympathisers of Article 370, people will beat them with shoes,” he said.
Malik said that Gandhi should have spoken on the day when on the floor of Parliament, his party’s leader was connecting Kashmir with the UN.
“If Rahul was a leader, he should have stopped him, scolded him and risen to say that this is the stand of the party on Kashmir. He has not cleared the stand on Kashmir so far,” he said in an apparent reference to Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
Replying to a question on relaxation of restrictions and gradual return of normalcy in Kashmir valley, Malik said: “Every Kashmiri life is valuable to us, we don’t want loss of even a single life. There has been no civilian casualty, only the few who got voilent are injured and they also have below the waist injuries. Only one person had injury in the neck and he too is out of danger’’.
Noting that deaths can’t be hidden, he recalled than in 2008 crisis, 56 lives were lost in first two weeks while 100 plus people were killed in 2010 and 80 plus in 2016. In the cross border terrorism, over 40,000 lives have been lost in the Valley so far.
Asserting that he wasn’t anticipating such speedy return of normalcy after major decision, he, however, said the Government won’t rush or pressurize schools and shops to open.
“These are your schools…your shops. They will start functioning shortly,’’ he said, adding the Government has opened the schools and students were also coming up but those, who are not coming to the schools, will come shortly. He said when rehriwallas will start making fortunes, the traders will open their shops. At the same time, he added, if the traders have any problem, the administration will help them.
Responding to a question on the Supreme Court allowing CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury to visit Kashmir, the Governor said he should meet MY Tarigami, the Left leader and go home.
Referring to the recent situation in the Valley, the Governor mentioned that a number of important decisions had recently been taken regarding Jammu and Kashmir. He observed that these decisions are historic and will open new vistas for the growth of all three regions – Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh. He mentioned that the decisions were taken keeping the interests of the people of Jammu & Kashmir in mind and to ensure that they benefit from the rapid economic growth happening in the rest of the country.
He announced that restoration of normalcy and deepening of democracy remained the Government’s priority and as a first step, elections to Block Development Councils would be conducted and completed before the end of October.
Justifying the restrictions imposed in the State after abrogation of Article 370, the Governor said the measures have been taken to prevent any loss of lives.
“It was necessary for the Government to impose restrictions primarily to ensure that militants and terrorists are handicapped in their movements and don’t succeed to create fear and terror,” he said and thanked people for being patient and cooperative.
“The results of these restrictions are there for you to see. Not a single person has died so far in police action in the Sate. Every life is precious. Is this not a singular achievement? It’s a result of the Government’s efforts to maintain peace and all have worked day and night to ensure that normalcy is gradually restored without causing harm to individuals,” he said, adding the administration is conscious of difficulties faced by the people.
“Now a lot of relaxations have been gradually made, step by step, and more will happen. As of now, 81 out of 111 police stations in Kashmir have day-time relaxations (on the movement of people). A few more areas will open up in a few days. Only few hardcore trouble spots will remain closed longer,” he said.
He further announced that his Government is working with various Central agencies to put together a scheme to provide a minimum support price for the apple crop in the State and that NAFED was willing to commit over Rs. 5000 Crores for procuring over 50 percent of apple production of the State. This would benefit over 7 lakh apple farmers.