‘Curbs necessary; will give 50K jobs’: Satya Pal Malik
Jammu & Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik said on Wednesday that the restrictions imposed by the state administration after the nullification of Article 370 were necessary, and assured people that the administration will ensure the identity, culture, religion and language of the region is preserved.
Malik admitted that pellet guns were used in certain places during protests in the Valley, but forces took utmost precaution to prevent serious damage, and that most of the pellet injuries were below the waist.
“We have reported every single case of pellet injuries. Most of the people have received pellet injuries in their lower part of their backs,’’ he said at a press conference.
The governor also announced that a massive recruitment drive for filling 50,000 vacant government posts would be taken up in the Jammu & Kashmir in the coming days.
“We will be giving 50,000 jobs to the youths of J&K in coming two three months. It’s going to be the largest single recruitment drive, never has 50,000 people given jobs at one time in the past,’’ Malik told reporters, adding that, in addition to these posts, the Centre was examining if there were positions open in the Central Reserve Police Force, the Border Security Force and the Ladakh Scouts.
When asked about political detentions, given that several state leaders including forcer chief minister Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were under house arrest since August 5, Malik said that he has himself gone to jail 30 times. “The leader who will serve detention will have its maximum political benefit.’’
Discontent has simmered in the region since August 5 and 6, when Parliament approved provisions nullifying Article 370, which offered special status for J&K, and Article 35A, under which outsiders were barred from holding government jobs or owning property in Kashmir. The state was divided into two Union territories — J&K and Ladakh — in a move that would take force on October 31.
He added that the identity of J&K, its culture, society, religion, language, heritage everything will be protected. “We will not allow any outside pressure to disturb that. We will preserve and protect these things. It is an assurance from our Prime Minister and we will restore normalcy in the region. We will deepen democracy and make it vibrant truly representative.’’
He also justified the communications clampdown saying that Pakistan and terrorist groups use the internet to mobilise and indoctrinate young people in the Valley.
“The internet is being used as a weapon against us and that’s why we have stopped it. Gradually we are going to restore this facility,’’ he said, adding that this would some time because it can be a dangerous instrument through which lies are spread.
Malik said that 3,000 primary schools and 1,000 middle schools have already been reopened. “At some places, the attendance is good and at some places its low. The attendance will improve gradually. Public transport is functioning normally. In Jammu and Ladakh all the schools and colleges are open.’’
He also said that 46 out of 95 telecom exchanges have been opened, covering several major areas. “Mobile phones are working in six districts of Jammu. Today we will be opening mobile phones in all 10 districts of Jammu and two districts of Ladakh. We are opening all mobile phones in the Handwara and Kupwara districts in the coming few days.’’
In some parts of the state, the locals have not opened shops and business establishments due to a self-imposed curfew as a part of protest.
Malik said that normalcy will return gradually. “We should not rush to open schools, and neither should force people to open their shops. The city belongs to the people and they are the best judge. People will decide it, and the government is there to remove the bottlenecks.”