Home Minister Amit Shah reiterated on Monday that Jammu and Kashmir would not remain a Union Territory forever, and statehood would be restored when the situation returns to normal.
Addressing Indian Police Service (IPS) probationers at the National Police Academy, Shah said the government’s decisions on J&K and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) were necessary in interest of national security.
“He asserted that some bold decisions are necessary for people’s benefit, without getting bogged down by the fear of a backlash. He quoted the example of J&K and said that not a single bullet had been fired and not a single person had died after the abrogation of Article 370. He also added that only 10 police stations of Kashmir, out of 196, have Section 144 in force,” the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said.
“He said the notion that only Article 370 protected Kashmiri identity was wrong. He asserted that all regional identities are inherently protected by the Constitution and misuse of Article 370 was the root cause of cross-border terrorism,” the MHA said.
Shah said the NRC was essential not just for national security but for good governance as well. “He said the NRC must not be seen as a political exercise but as a Constitutional one, as it is very important to have a national citizens’ register in order to ensure that benefits of development reach all our citizens,” the MHA said.
Shah also said that “gender-based reservation was not the answer to the issue of inadequate representation of women in the police”. He spoke of the need to change societal mindset in this regard, and expressed confidence that this would happen gradually, the MHA said.
Shah called for a conceptual change in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and said this must be in line with India being a welfare state. He noted that the purpose of the IPC and CrPC has shifted from preservation of the British Empire to the welfare of people, and this has to be reflected in the provisions and application.
Speaking on improving the efficiency of the police, Shah told the probationers that as IPS officers, their job would be to ensure that there was freedom to take the necessary decisions and own up responsibility at all levels, without overstepping boundaries.