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Common people in Kashmir tired of militancy: Jitendra Singh

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New Delhi: Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday said the common people in Kashmir are tired of militancy and are becoming increasingly aspirational for themselves and their children.

Delivering the first edition of ‘Kunwar Viyogi Annual Memorial Lecture’ of the University of Jammu on the ‘Way Forward Post Abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A in Jammu and Kashmir’, he said that militancy is in its last phase in the region and militants on the run “are hitting soft targets”.

Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel, said things are changing for the better each day and hoped for a new beginning from the next season.

He said that in the second term of the Modi government, the Prime Minister had called for giving Jammu and Kashmir similar kind of attention and focus as was being given to the Northeast.

Singh said, “after a very long gap, there is almost equal distribution of central resources in Jammu and Kashmir divisions.”

Referring to his speech in Parliament during the abrogation of Article 370 provisions last year, when he had described it as a “miscarriage of history and anomaly of the Constitution”, Singh said that “what was supposed to be a temporary feature remained permanent for 70 years,” according to a statement issued by the Personnel Ministry.

He said it was the vision and strong will of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the “historic wrong” was undone.

Singh said “even the prophets of doom, who argued that the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A would lead to bloodshed and violence, were proved wrong.”

“On the other hand, the UT of J&K witnessed the most peaceful festive season, be it Holi, Muharram, Eid, Diwali, Republic Day or Independence Day,” the minister claimed.

Singh, the Lok Sabha member from Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur constituency, said that the people of the Union Territory are realising that in the name of special status and self-rule, it was in fact continuation of dynastic rule of three generations and autonomy was denied at the grassroots level by not holding panchayat elections.

He said panchayat elections were held under the new dispensation of Lieutenant Governor in Jammu and Kashmir, “thus empowering the local people,” the statement said.

Describing the Jammu and Kashmir Domicile Rules Notification as the “dawn of a new era”, Singh said that “history will vindicate us and prove that this course correction was in keeping with the principle of equality and the norms of a healthy democracy”.

He said that three generations of people in Jammu and Kashmir had been denied the right to live with justice and dignity.

Singh said the West Pakistan refugees and displaced persons from Pakistan-administered-Jammu and Kashmir have been restored their legitimate rights and a discrimination of several decades has been undone.

Recalling that two former prime ministers I K Gujral and Manmohan Singh came from Pakistan, the minister quipped they would not have become prime minister if they had chosen to settle in J&K because of the discriminatory law, the statement said.

He also added that it is an irony that all India services officers, including IAS and IPS, who devoted 30 to 35 years of their life to serve in Jammu and Kashmir were, at the end of the day, after superannuation, asked to pack up, leave and look for a place elsewhere to settle.

This was quite in contrast to the arrangement in several states and UTs where the all India service officers of state cadre are not only allowed to settle but are also provided plots of land for the same, Singh said.

He said the same is the case for teachers, doctors and other professionals.

Dwelling on the administrative outcomes, Singh said that following the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir special status on August 05, 2019, “transparency, digitisation and accountability have increased”.

The Centre is assisting the Union Territory government of Jammu & Kashmir to establish grievance portal in each of its 20 districts, he added.

He said that “citizen centricity in governance has become a new norm”.

Similarly, several of the stalled developmental projects in the irrigation, power and other sectors have started seeing the light of the day after remaining in cold storage for more than 30-40 years, the minister added.

Singh said by making Dogri an official language, another anomaly was done away with.

He said that people are gradually coming out of slavish, slack and selfish mindset, and becoming part of the new milieu.

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