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J&K situation ‘normal’ contrary to widespread belief, internet to be restored at apt time: Shah

The Home Minister also pointed out that not a single person has died due to police firing since August 5 when the Centre revoked J&K's special status under Article 370 of the Constitution.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 20, 2019 1:44:02 pm
Kashmiri journalists hold placards and protest against 100 days of internet blockade in the region in Srinagar. (AP Photo)

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Union Home Minister Amit Shah Wednesday asserted that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is “normal contrary to widespread belief” and that internet services will be resumed in the region at an appropriate time.

“Internet services in Jammu and Kashmir will be resumed in the region as soon as the local administration feels fit to do so. Considering law and order, we will have a meeting and the services will be resumed at the right time,” Shah said while responding to a question by senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. Click here to track LIVE updates on Parliament session

Kashmir has no access to the internet since August 5 when the Centre revoked J&K’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories.

The Home Minister also pointed out that not a single person has died due to police firing since the Centre’s decision. “Since 5th August, no person has been killed in police firing. Section 144 has been lifted from all police stations. Stone-pelting incidents have seen a reduction in number,” he said.

Amit Shah says J&K situation 'normal', internet to be restored at apt time Home Minister Amit Shah speaking in the Rajya Sabha on the Jammu and Kashmir situation. (Rajya Sabha TV/Screengrab)

Shah’s statement came a day after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in Parliament on Tuesday that there was a decrease in incidents of stone-pelting and law and order issues in J&K after August 5. However, the data provided by the government shows a marginal increase in such incidents.

While Shah stated that healthcare is being taken care of by the authorities, he added that there is no decline in the circulation of the newspaper.

“The supply of medicines is adequate. Mobile vans have been provided and hospitals have enough medicine as well. In Srinagar, over 60 lakh people were taken care of in OPD in September, and a little more in October,” he told Parliament.

He further challenged Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to counter the figures he presented. “Why don’t you object to these figures on record? I am willing to discuss this issue for even an hour,” Shah asked Azad.

Shah also touched upon the apple industry and the banking sector in the region. “Over 22 lakh metric tonnes apples have already been transferred out of the region. Transportation is smooth. The farmers have been provided additional help. 93,247 landlines have opened up. All 59 lakh mobiles are working,” he said.

“Media is working in English and Urdu regularly. The banking sector is also smooth. Most shops are open in the morning, shut during the noon and open again during the evenings,” he added.

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