No deaths in Kashmir, 50k new jobs soon: Governor (Lead)
Srinagar, Aug 28 (IANS) Asserting that the Modi government decision to abrogate Article 370 is for the betterment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday said the administration was "not hiding" the figures of "deaths" in the Kashmir Valley as no lives have been lost.
He also said that about 50,000 new government jobs will be created in Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing a press conference, Malik said: "In 2016 agitation over 80 people had died. Every life is precious. Is this not a singular achievement? (the fact that no one has died). It's the result of the government's efforts to maintain peace, and all have worked day-night to ensure that normalcy be gradually restored without causing harm to individuals."
He said the people have been most cooperative and patient. "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," Malik said.
He said there has been no civilian casualties, and "only the few who got violent are injured". "Those who are injured have injuries below the waist," he said. He wondered how his administration could hide any data on deaths when Central teams were regularly meeting him.
The Governor said to prevent loss of life, it was necessary for the government to impose restrictions primarily to ensure that militants and terrorists do not succeed in creating fear and terror. "Rumours such as state police has been disarmed, hospitals have no medical supplies and deaths are being hidden were and are still being spread, with absolutely no basis," he said.
Citing the menace of terrorism in the Valley, the Governor said, "Jammu and Kashmir has been suffering for over 30 years from cross-border terrorism supported and fed by our neighbour. This cross-border terrorism has cost over 40,000 human lives." He said due to the cross border terrorism, economy of the state has stagnated.
"There is no growth, no jobs nor investment. Tourism has been badly affected," he said.
Announcing that the government was easing restrictions in the Valley, he said that government is conscious of difficulties faced by people. "Hence, from day one we have been trying to improve the situation. Relaxation has been gradually made, step by step, and more will happen."
Malik pointed out that as of now, 81 out of 111 police stations in Kashmir have daytime relaxations. "A few more areas will open in a few days. Only few hardcore trouble spots will remain closed longer. In the state, 167 out of 197 Police stations have no daytime restrictions on movement," he said.
He said schools are also being gradually opened and in all 81 police station areas in Kashmir, primary, middle and high schools have been opened. "High schools were also opened today. Over 3000 primary schools and 1000 middle schools are functioning," he said.
Announcing the government was opening mobile phone connectivity in Kupwara and Handwara districts, he said: "And soon we will open connectivity in other districts as well."
Malik said the medium of phone and internet is used less by the people and more by terrorists and Pakistanis as for mobilisation and indoctrination.
"It is a kind of weapon used against us, so we have stopped it. Services will be resumed gradually," he said.
He said the statements from across the border and also by terrorist organizations were a cause for great concern. It is an open invitation for violence, killings and disruption of economic activity.
Malik underlined that the government's objective is to work maximum for the people so that in the long-term, everybody realizes that it was indeed done for their benefit.
"J&K and Ladakh will see so much of development in the coming days that people in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir will also start asking for the same kind of development," he said.
He said that about 50,000 government jobs will be announced soon and 50 more degree colleges will be set up.