J&K: August 2019 marked end of terrorism, says Amit Shah
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said that terrorism and stone-pelting have reduced since the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status on August 5, 2019. The date will be written in golden letters in Indian history, Shah said, speaking to members of the J&K Youth Club in Srinagar. The Home Minister is on a three-day visit to J&K.
Why does this story matter?
Shah's visit to J&K comes in the backdrop of a spate of terror attacks. He also chaired a security review meeting with top officials in J&K. The visit highlights the government's intention to start political processes including delimitation and restoring the statehood of J&K. This is the Home Minister's first visit to J&K since the erstwhile state's special status was revoked.
'No one can obstruct development'
Shah said, "Terrorism has reduced, stone pelting has become invisible (after August 5, 2019)." "I want to assure you that strict action will be taken against those who want to ruin the peace of J&K. No one can obstruct development here. It's our commitment," he said. J&K youth have to contribute to the UT's development, he added.
'Elections to follow delimitation'
Further, Shah said, "Delimitation will happen, followed by elections, and then restoration of statehood. I want to be friends with the Kashmiri youth." Delimitation is the redrawing of boundaries of a Legislative Assembly or Lok Sabha constituency.
Shah meets slain J&K cop's kin
Earlier in the day, Shah met the family members of the slain J&K police inspector Parvaiz Ahmad in Nowgam. He offered his condolences to the family and gave a government job appointment letter to Ahmad's wife Fatima Akhtar. Ahmad was gunned down by terrorists in June as he returned home after offering evening prayers at a mosque.
Civilian killings discussed at security meet
Shah also chaired a high-level security review at the Raj Bhawan attended by security and civil administration officials. Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, civil administration officials, along with top officers from the Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), and J&K Police were in attendance. Reportedly, killings of civilians, increasing radicalization, prolonged encounters with terrorists were discussed at the meeting.
Terrorists target civilians in J&K
Terrorists in J&K have increasingly targeted civilians, particularly minorities and non-locals in the UT. The police said nearly all civilian killings were by newly-recruited terrorists. According to official data, 32 civilians have been killed this year so far, including 11 who were killed in October. Reportedly, 63 cases of terrorist-initiated encounters occurred till September this year along with 28 cases of atrocities by terrorists.