Lives of Kashmiri people more important than mobiles: Guv

Governor Satya Pal Malik at PTC Kathua on Monday. -Excelsior/ Pardeep Sharma
Governor Satya Pal Malik at PTC Kathua on Monday. -Excelsior/ Pardeep Sharma

‘Internet to be restored shortly’

* Martyr Allowance to be raised to Rs 1 cr

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Oct 14: Governor Satya Pal Malik said today that the telephone services in Kashmir were suspended as lives of the Kashmiri people were more important for the Government and there were apprehensions that the phones could be used to spread terrorism and indoctrination. He said following restoration of mobile telephones in the Valley, the Internet services will also be resumed shortly.

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Addressing Passing-Out Parade of the police constables at Police Training Centre (PTC) Kathua, Malik announced that `Martyr Allowance’ of the police personnel will shortly be raised to Rs one crore and he has taken up the issue with the Union Home Ministry.
Asserting that this period (post abrogation of Special Constitutional provisions of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the State into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh) will be written in the history for not a single bullet being fired because of the responsible role played by Jammu and Kashmir Police and other security agencies, Malik said during earlier turmoil in the Valley 50, 60 or even 100 people were killed in just one week.
“Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and Union Home Minister (Amit Shah) have been saying in the meetings that not a single bullet was fired in Kashmir since August 5 because of the responsible role played by the police for which the entire force deserves appreciation. This period will be written in the history,” the Governor said.
He said the Prime Minister has congratulated him for this “but I said I am not worthy of the praise and you should thank the Kashmir people and police forces for taking steps to ensure that law and order is maintained”.
Defending the communication blockade in the Valley since August 5, Malik said the safety of Kashmiris was more important than mobile services which the terrorists use for their activities and mobilization.
“People used to make noise that there is no telephone. We stopped telephone services because terrorists were using them for their activities, mobilization and indoctrination,” Malik said, adding that for the Government the life of a Kashmir was important and not telephone.
People were living without telephones earlier also, he noted.
Asserting that mobile phone services were restored now, he said people can go about their normal lives and claimed that tourists had begun arriving in the Valley.
“Young boys and girls were having difficulties earlier but now they can speak to each other. Now, there are no issues. Very soon, we will restore internet services also,” he assured.
However, until the Internet services are restored, the Government has opened Internet kiosks and allowed people to avail the services in the offices of the Deputy Commissioners.
The Governor said that the situation in Kashmir was normal and there had been no violence in the last more than two months.
He said in the last two months, “not a single bullet” was fired in the Valley and no protests had taken placed as he credited the security forces for their strict vigil.
Asserting that he was worried as the Eid festival approached shortly after abrogation of Article 370 (which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and was scrapped by the Central Government on August 5 along with Article 35-A), Malik said not a single police personnel, who had to celebrate Eid festival, asked for leave and performed their duties.
“We have lengthy list of sacrifices by the police personnel,” he said.
Malik assured the police personnel that the `Martyr Allowance’ which was just Rs 25 lakh has been raised and will be further hiked to Rs 1 crore. “I have taken up the matter with the Home Minister. The bureaucracy is little bit slow in moving the files. But I want to assure you that very soon this allowance will be raised to Rs 1 crore,” he said.
He said the kin of police martyrs should be given best education in private schools and the Government will bear all expenses for this.
Malik had a word of advice for the police.
“When you are on duty, don’t be afraid of anyone-be he the political leader or any other influential person as you are the representatives of the President of India and the Constitution. Do right and give justice to the people. Jammu and Kashmir Police is finest police force in the country,” the Governor said.


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