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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Jammu and Kashmir not to remain Union Territory forever: Amit Shah

The home minister said the notion that only the Article 370 protected the Kashmiri culture and identity was a wrong one, saying all regional identities are inherently protected by the Indian constitution.

india Updated: Oct 08, 2019 03:36 IST
HT Correspondent and Press Trust of India
HT Correspondent and Press Trust of India
New Delhi
The meeting comes at a time when the party is preparing for the Block Development Council elections scheduled for October 24.
The meeting comes at a time when the party is preparing for the Block Development Council elections scheduled for October 24.(HT image)
         

Union home minister Amit Shah on Monday said Jammu and Kashmir will not remain a Union Territory (UT) forever and that statehood would be restored to it once the security situation improves.

Shah also said “not a single bullet has been fired or not a single person has died” after the abrogation of the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and its division into two UTs on August 5 while interacting with the probationers of the 2018 batch of the Indian Police Service (IPS).

The home minister said the notion that only the Article 370 protected the Kashmiri culture and identity was a wrong one, saying all regional identities are inherently protected by the Indian constitution. Misuse of the Article 370 is the root cause of cross-border terrorism, he said.

Referring to the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which is being updated in Assam, the home minister said the NRC was essential not just for the national security but for good governance as well. He said the NRC must not be seen as a political exercise, as it is very important to have a national register of citizens in order to ensure that benefits of development reach all citizens.

Meanwhile on Monday, Shah also chaired a review meeting of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of the formalisation of the state’s reorganisation on October 31. Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will be formally designated as union territories on that date.

According to a functionary aware of the developments, Shah’s meeting had in attendance office bearers at the centre and the state level.

The meeting comes at a time when the party is preparing for the Block Development Council elections scheduled for October 24. The Bharatiya Janata Party has announced it will field 280 candidates for the 316 seats in the upcoming polls.