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Replaced forced shutdowns in Kashmir with normal activities: LG Sinha    

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Addressing gathering after releasing book of prominent journalist Bashir Assad in New Delhi today, Sinha said he was told on August 5 that there was a plan to enforce bandh and journalists had also reached Kashmir to cover it.

Jammu: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said today that a fine line has been drawn and none will be permitted to cross this and all those indulging in separatist activities will not be spared. He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been taking special interest in the development of Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing gathering after releasing book of prominent journalist Bashir Assad in New Delhi today, Sinha said he was told on August 5 that there was a plan to enforce bandh and journalists had also reached Kashmir to cover it.

“But there was traffic on the roads, people were shopping. Some said you have enforced this forcibly with the use of stick. I said this isn’t possible with the use of lathi but if you say I accept this. Pakistan also used to enforce strike in Kashmir at gun point. If I used lathi there is nothing wrong in it,” he said.
Asserting that this is the fine line and none will be permitted beyond this till he is in Jammu and Kashmir, the Lieutenant Governor made it clear that there will be no compromise on this stand.
He said August 5 was not in his mind and he had called the District Development Council (DDC) chairpersons for meeting. While some of them turned up (for the meeting), others didn’t. Someone told me that there was a plan to enforce strike. I launched New Film Policy and Football League on that day, he recalled.
It may be mentioned here that it was on August 5, 2019 when the Central Government had abrogated special status of Jammu and Kashmir (Articles 370 and 35-A) and bifurcated it into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
“A narrative was created at the international level by self styled experts that Kashmir can’t be run without them. I think they should come out of this narrative now and accept what people want. They want development and jobs,” he said.
Maintaining that Jammu and Kashmir is marching towards peace and development, Sinha said he is quite confident that with the grace of God they will succeed in their mission.
“Whatever people may say, I agree that Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing peace, development and generation of employment opportunities,” he added.
The Lieutenant Governor said there were many people there (in Kashmir), who love India and want to celebrate national festivals.
“There are large number of such people. There is misconception about them. However, there can be some exceptions but majority of people want to celebrate,” he maintained
Again, he said, he was told that whenever the President or the Prime Minister visit (Kashmir), there is a call for the strike. However, with God’s grace there was no bandh when President (Ram Nath Kovind) visited Kashmir last month, he added.
Taking another dig at the separatists, Sinha said some people used to be medically treated in foreign and their children studied abroad. They enjoyed all facilities but the common man was deprived of basic needs. This was the situation for a long time, he added.
The Lieutenant Governor said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been taken special interest in Jammu and Kashmir and it was because of him that several new projects are coming up including seven Government Medical Colleges (GMCs), two All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), two Cancer Institutes, Bone Institutes and many others.
He said the Government of India was going to close Prime Minister’s Grameen Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) Phase-II but he met the concerned Minister and sought exemption for Jammu and Kashmir for next 5-6 months.
“After looking at our progress of two years, the Government of India will take a decision,” he added.
Sinha said the people for long were denied basic facilities in Jammu and Kashmir like electricity and roads.
He also referred to Back To Village (B2V) programme of the Union Territory Government saying the Government has exceeded the numbers fixed for providing financial assistance to two youths in every Panchayat. There was no shortage of funds for the youth to avail financial help, he added and said a number of women were among the beneficiaries.
On Industrial Policy, the Lieutenant Governor said the Government was expecting Rs 25,000 crore worth investments and generation of 4-5 lakh jobs but going by the response the investment could touch Rs 50,000 crore while number of jobs could go up to 10 lakh.
Speaking on the book of Bashir Assad, Sinha said it has inside look post August 5, 2019 events and people must read it. The book has explained how some people tried to mislead the narrative while there were some hard workers also.



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