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J&K put on path of normalcy and development: Sinha

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LG hoists Tricolour on ID function

Restrictions, suspension of internet (2G) mark ID in Kashmir

Srinagar: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha hoisted the Tricolour at the UT level function on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day, at Sher-i-Kashmir, Cricket Stadium, this morning.

The Lt Governor inspected the parade and took the ceremonial salute.

Several cultural programmes were held during the function.

“A new era of normalcy and development has dawned in Jammu and Kashmir due to the changes effected in the last one year,” Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said on Saturday and expressed the resolve to make peace, progress and social harmony the most integral part of the transformed narrative.

“It is a matter of great sorrow that the legacy of cultural syncretism has been eclipsed by the vicious story of sectarianism. But, we want to transform the narrative once again. We want to make development, peace, progress and social harmony the most integral part of the narrative of Jammu and Kashmir,” Sinha said in his Independence Day speech at Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium here.

“After the constitutional change enacted in 2019, the central government took not one or two, but historic 50 decisions to transform the face of the region. A new era of normalcy and development has dawned due to the changes effected in the last year; a new journey has been undertaken,” the LG said referring to the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35-A in August last year.

The LG said the government has five main guiding principles – to put in place a just and transparent system of governance, a thriving grassroots level democracy, maximizing the reach of government welfare schemes; accelerating economic development and creation of employment.

Sinha said some “wrong decisions” were unfortunately taken after independence which inevitably led to resentment in the hearts of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and distanced them from the rest.

He, however, said “equality and justice are being gradually restored in Jammu and Kashmir”.

Sinha said his administration stands by all those who are committed to and strive towards strengthening democracy in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Elected representatives of local self-governments, who face threat, are being provided with a Rs 25 lakh life insurance cover. To make policing more effective, the necessary reforms are being undertaken,” he said — remarks which come in the backdrop of recent attacks on political workers.

The LG extensively spoke about the rights of women who marry outside Jammu and Kashmir; refugees from West Pakistan; displaced migrants, pahari-speaking people, Other Backward Classes and ‘Safai Karmis.’

He expressed gratitude to J&K Police, central paramilitary forces and the army for sacrificing their lives to ensure the integrity and freedom of the nation and ensure that the citizens of the country live a secure and peaceful life.

Sinha said the government aims to create “ultra-modern and world-class” infrastructure in the UT.

“We have to transform Jammu and Kashmir into a world class tourism destination. We have to create a peaceful environment here. I expect the full cooperation and support of people here that we may create a new Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

“We are committed to provide a better alternative for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. An alternative that stands for development, welfare and social transformation,” he added.

Meanwhile, deserted roads, five-our long mobile internet shutdown and heavy deployment of security forces marked the Independence Day in Kashmir region on Saturday. The day, however, passed off peacefully across the region.

All the roads leading to the main venue—Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium Srinagar were sealed a day ahead of the official function amid heavy deployment of security forces all around with drones and CCTV fitted vehicles keeping a close watch on suspects.

In Srinagar, the summer capital, all the shops, business establishments remained closed while public and private traffic was off the roads. In old Srinagar, heavy deployment of forces was made and main roads were sealed with the concertina wires at various places to prevent any untoward incident and unlawful assembly.

This time, the J&K UT administration didn’t suspend the voice calling on mobile phones but resorted to five-hour long mobile internet suspension across the Valley on all platforms.

“Mobile internet was suspended at 7 am and restored at 12 noon,” an airtel customer told news agency, KNO.

Reports of roads wearing a deserted look poured in from all the district headquarters in Kashmir including southern districts of Pulwama, Kulgam, Anantnag and Shopian. However, police officials said that all the I-Day functions including the main function held in Srinagar passed off peacefully.

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