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Guv justifies curbs, says 50,000 govt jobs in J-K soon

Last updated on: August 28, 2019 22:27 IST

Without giving any details, Malik also said the Centre was likely to make 'big' announcement soon.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik assured the people of the state on Wednesday that there identity and culture would be preserved and justified the imposition of severe restrictions after the Centre abrogated provisions of Article 370, saying it was done to prevent any loss of life.

In his first press conference after the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Jammu and Kashmir's special status and divide the state into two Union Territories on August 5, the governor announced that over 50,000 vacant government posts will be filled up in the next three months, making it the biggest such drive in the state.

 

Flanked by Advisor K Vijay Kumar, Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam and Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh, Malik, who will be the last governor of the state before it is split into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh -- on October 31, also indicated that internet services will continue to remain suspended for some more time as it was 'more used by terrorists and Pakistanis' than the people of the state.

In his brief statement, the governor said he wanted to assure the people of the state that their 'identity, culture, religion, society, language, heritage, everything will be protected'.

"We will not let any pressure come on them from outside, and we will preserve and protect them (people of the state). This is a solemn assurance also from our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and we will restore normalcy in this region. We will deepen democracy and make it vibrant and truly representative," he said.

The governor had made this assurance during his August 15 speech as well.

Without giving any details, Malik also said the Centre was likely to make 'big' announcement soon.

Justifying the restrictions imposed in the state after abrogation of Article 370, the governor said the measures have been taken to prevent any loss of lives.

"It was necessary for the government to impose restrictions primarily to ensure that militants and terrorists are handicapped in their movements and don't succeed to create fear and terror," he said and thanked people for being patient and cooperative.

"The results of these restrictions are there for you to see. Not a single person has died so far in police action in the state.

"In the 2008 agitation, over 50 people died.

"In the 2010 agitation, over 100 people had died and in 2016 agitation, over 80 people had died.

"Every life is precious. Is this not a singular achievement? It's a result of the government's efforts to maintain peace and all have worked day and night to ensure that normalcy is gradually restored without causing harm to individuals," he said, adding the administration is conscious of difficulties faced by the people.

"Now a lot of relaxations have been gradually made, step by step, and more will happen. As of now, 81 out of 111 police stations in Kashmir have day-time relaxations (on the movement of people).

"A few more areas will open up in a few days. Only few hard core trouble spots will remain closed longer," he said.

The governor admitted use of pellet guns by security personnel during protests in the Kashmir Valley but said the forces took utmost precaution to prevent injuries.

He also claimed that schools were being gradually reopened, but there was no reply to reporters' queries about thin attendance.

He also announced that his administration has identified 50,000 vacancies in the government.

"They are at multiple levels. We will fill these 50,000 vacancies in the next few months. This will generate employment for our youth

"I urge our youth to come forward actively in this recruitment process. This will the largest single recruitment drive ever in Jammu and Kashmir or Ladakh," he said.

On the communication blackout, he said Internet and phone services have been shut because these are more useful to terrorists and Pakistan for mobilisation of people and indoctrination of youths.

"The medium of Internet is little bit useful for us but more useful for terrorists, Pakistanis. It is also used to mobilise and for indoctrination," Malik said.

"We will probably be opening Internet a little late which people will have to bear because that is the most dangerous instrument. Entire lie is spread using that medium," Malik said.

To a question on how does the government plan to make youths fill up job application when the Internet is down, Malik said, "We will go to their homes and get them filled up. Don't worry about that."

On detentions of politicians, including three former chief ministers, Malik sought to justify it by saying that the more politicians spend time in jail, the more political dividends they are likely to accrue.

"Don't you want that people should become leaders. I have gone to jail 30 times. Those who will go to jail, will become leaders. Let them be there.

"The more they spend time in the jail, the more they will claim during elections...that I have spent six months behind bars...

"So if you sympathise with them, do not be sad over detention. And they all are in their homes. I was jailed in Fatehgarh (Uttar Pradesh) during the Emergency where it used to take two days to reach.

"If someone is detained in any issue, if he is wise, he will take political benefit. I am wishing them well," the governor said.

The governor said that NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India) will commit over Rs 5,000 crore for procuring over 50 per cent of apple produce of the state and this will benefit more than seven lakh apple growers.

'Rahul acting like political juvenile'

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday took a jibe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his stand on Kashmir, saying he has behaved like a 'political juvenile'.

Addressing his first press conference after the Centre announced its move to abrogate Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5, Malik asked the Congress to clear its stand on the Kashmir issue.

Asked about Gandhi's statement on alleged violence in Kashmir, the Governor said, "Rahul Gandhi is a man from a prestigious family of the country, but he has behaved like a political juvenile. The outcome of that (statement) is that Pakistan has quoted his statement in its letter to the UN. He should not have done that."

Last week, Gandhi had attacked the government over the Kashmir situation and said that the opposition and the press got a taste of the 'draconian administration', referring to an incident where he and other political leaders were prevented from visiting Kashmir Valley.

The journalists accompanying the delegation were also not allowed to go out of the Srinagar airport after their arrival from Delhi.

On Wednesday, the Congress leader hit out at Pakistan for instigating violence in Jammu and Kashmir, with his remarks being seen by the Opposition as a damage control exercise following reports that Pakistan had cited his last week's statement in a petition to the United Nations.

"I should not be saying this but when elections come, their opponents simply need to say that they (Congress party) are sympathisers of Article 370, people will beat them with shoes," he said.

Malik said that Gandhi should have spoken on the day when on the floor of Parliament, his party's leader was connecting Kashmir with the UN.

"If Rahul was a leader, he should have stopped him, scolded him and risen to say that this is the stand of the party on Kashmir. He has not cleared the stand on Kashmir so far," he said in an apparent reference to Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

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