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J-K governor Satya Pal Malik appeals for calm, asks people not to believe rumours

Governor Satya Pal Malik said the rumours are unnecessarily creating an atmosphere of fear in the minds of people, leading to stress and disruption to normal life.

india Updated: Feb 24, 2019 18:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jammu
Satya Pal Malik,Jammu and Kashmir governor,Pulwama attack
Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik in Jammu.(HT File Photo)

In an attempt to soothe frayed nerves in Kashmir amid rumours of ‘war-hysteria’ and unconfirmed reports of attempts to repeal Article 35-A via an ordinance, the Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik on Sunday appealed the people to stay calm and not believe in rumours.

In an impromptu meeting of the State Administrative Council in Jammu, Malik was briefed about the security situation in Jammu city after the lifting of the curfew a few days ago and also the restoration of normalcy. He was also informed of the situation in the Kashmir Valley and the gradual induction of additional central forces for election purposes.

The governor allayed apprehensions of the people in Kashmir about the movement of 100 companies of paramilitary forces a couple of days ago and said they were taken to the Valley for the upcoming elections.

“Additional police forces are needed for conducting general elections. Normally, forces are inducted a month before elections so that they settle down and familiarize with the ground situation. It is in this context that 100 companies of central forces are being inducted. This is less than the actual additional forces required and more would be inducted in the coming weeks,” said an official statement.

The governor appealed to the people that the induction of forces be seen only in the context of conducting elections and should not be attributed to any other cause.

He appealed to the people not to believe in rumours of any extreme nature which were circulating widely in some quarters and to remain calm.

“These rumours are unnecessarily creating an atmosphere of fear in the minds of people, leading to stress and disruption to normal life. Rumours about curfews and other actions should not be believed,” the statement said.

“There is some security related action being taken by the forces, but this is purely related to the Pulwama attack which is unprecedented one. The response of security forces is guided solely by the need to counter both the impact and any further action that may be taken by terrorist groups who are still out to disrupt our country and its democratic processes,” it said.

The governor also clarified that the Jammu-Srinagar highway remained closed due to snowfall and landslides for over a week creating shortage of essential supplies in Valley, which prompted his administration to ration petrol and diesel.

“The government is taking measures to enhance the supplies to the Kashmir region. People of the state should not read anything more into this but see it only as an administrative measure in a shortage situation,” he said.

On the medicine front also, the instructions to hospitals to increase availability of medicines is also to be seen in the context of shortage of supplies as a result of the prolonged disruption in transport.

On the issue of safety and security of Kashmiris residing outside the state, the governor clarified that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given clear directions to the country on Saturday.

“The PM’s statement that there is no fight against Kashmiris but that it is a fight for Kashmir is a clear signal that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are not only the integral part of India but it is the responsibility of the country to take care of their safety wherever they may be,” he added.

Malik also wanted to re-assure all government employees and their families who stay in Jammu that their safety and security was of primary importance from day one and measures were taken to ensure their safety. The situation in Jammu city is normal and government employees should feel safe as they go about their normal work.

First Published: Feb 24, 2019 15:07 IST