Updated: October 25, 2021 7:34:49 am
Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday promised equitable development of both the Jammu and Kashmir regions, and said “no one” would be allowed to disrupt the process of development initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Union Territory.
“From this land of temples and of Mata Vaishno Devi, which is also the birthplace of Pandit Prem Nath Dogra and the martyrdom of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, I want to say that those bent upon disrupting this era of development are causing disruptions, but rest assured no one will be able to disrupt and stop the pace of development in Jammu and Kashmir,” Shah told a public rally in Bhagwati Nagar in Jammu.
“Some people” were raising questions about the security situation in J&K, Shah said.
“I want to tell them that a total 2,081 civilians were killed by militants from 2004-14, which comes to 208 civilians every year (on average). However, from 2014 till September 10, 2021, only 239 civilians have lost their lives, which works out to 30 civilians a year,’’ Shah said.
“But I have come to say that though this number is smaller, we are not satisfied, as we want to create a situation where not a single person gets killed and terrorism is wiped out completely,” he said.
Shah said that under a unique development scheme initiated by the Modi government, 4,500 clubs had been created in Kashmir, involving 45,000 youths. While some of them have got jobs, others have been trained in skill upgradation and other ventures, and were serving society, he said.
“I have told them (members of youth clubs) that if you find any woman without an LPG connection in your village, do write to the government, as we do not want any household to be without an LPG stove, electricity, or tap water,” Shah said. “And if these 45,000 youth work in the service of Jammu and Kashmir, then I can tell you that militants will not be able to cause any harm.”
Shah is on his maiden visit to J&K since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019. Sunday was the birth anniversary of Prem Nath Dogra, founder of the Praja Parishad, who spearheaded an agitation against Sheikh Abdullah in the 1950s. Syama Prasad Mookerjee died in J&K Police custody in 1953.
In the evening, Shah visited forward areas along the international border in Jammu, and interacted with BSF officers and jawans there.
“This is an auspicious day. Not just Jammu, people across the country can never forget Prem Nath Dogra… He was the person who founded the Praja Parishad, and along with Dr Mookerjee gave the slogan that there cannot be two heads of government, two flags, and two constitutions in the same country,” Shah said.
Shah, who was accompanied by Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Dr Jitendra Singh, and Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, inaugurated or laid the foundation stones of various projects worth a total Rs 15,000 crore.
“The days of discrimination against the people of Jammu have gone, and now no one can do injustice to you,” Shah said. Instead, he said, “development will take place simultaneously both in Jammu and Kashmir. There will be no injustice with anybody and both will develop and prosper together and contribute jointly to take the country forward.”
Five lakh new jobs are in the process of being created in Jammu as a result of the new industrial policy announced by the government after the removal of Article 370, Shah said.
“When we came up with the new industrial policy, the three families used to mock us saying who will come here… But due to PM Modi’s efforts, investments of Rs 12,000 crore have come until now, and will rise to Rs 51,000 crore before the end of 2022,’’ Shah said, without naming the “three families” of the Congress, NC, and PDP.
“What did these three families give to the state except for 87 MLAs and six MPs?” Shah asked. In comparison, “PM Narendra Modi has worked to make 30,000 people elected representatives”, and announced a Rs 55,000-crore package for the people after taking office.
“Today every village has an elected panchayat, councils in block and districts,” Shah said, adding that these panches and sarpanches could also become ministers at the Centre, or chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir. “Coercion by these three families is no longer possible,” he said.
Lt Governor Sinha hit out at those trying to disrupt peace and development in the UT. “Those who are doing this shall know that the government at the Centre believes in establishing peace, and not buying it,” he said.
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