NEW DELHI: The abrogation of Article 370 provisions is a
“decisive battle” waged by the Narendra Modi government to end years
of proxy war and terrorism from Pakistan and the step will bring ever-lasting
peace in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Tuesday.
Attending the 35th Raising Day celebrations of the counter-terror force NSG as the chief guest here, Shah said the recent decision to repeal special provisions in Jammu and Kashmir will help to “completely eradicate” the Pakistan-sponsored terrorism from the Kashmir Valley.
He said his government is firm on the policy of “zero tolerance” on terrorism and the National Security Guard (NSG) is an important instrument to achieve this goal. “I believe that with the abrogation of Article 370 by PM Narendra Modi, we have initiated a decisive battle against years of proxy war and terror acts perpetrated by our neighbour (Pakistan) and this step will ensure ever-lasting peace in Kashmir and the region,” Shah said at the NSG garrison in Manesar here.
Terrorism is a curse on any civilised society and an impediment in development, he said. “Hence our government is firm on continuing the zero tolerance policy on terrorism,” Shah added. The NSG was raised in 1984 as the federal counter-terror and counter-hijack force with specialised ”black cat” commandos to render these tasks.
Meanwhile, Amit Shah has said that Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba
Mufti have been detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA), said Union Home
Minister Amit Shah. Under the stringent PSA an individual can be detained for
up to two years without any trial.
Responding to a query on the detention of Omar and Mehbooba, Shah, in an interview to India Today TV channel Monday, said: “Unko Public Safety Act ke tehat abhi detention mei rakha hi hai (they are still in detention under the Public Safety Act).” This remark with a video of the interview was also tweeted by the BJP Live handle.
Omar and Mehbooba were among mainstream party leaders placed under detention ahead of the August 5 announcement that ended the special status of the state under Article 370.
The PSA was later invoked against Omar’s father Farooq Abdullah, a three-term Chief Minister and the current Srinagar MP, and his house in Srinagar declared a subsidiary jail. The stringent PSA allows the government to detain a person without trial for a period ranging from six months to two years.
Asked about the detention of leaders, Shah said, “When the incident is fresh… immediately after the removal of Article 370, that there will be shock among people is natural… if someone tries to instigate, obviously there will be a problem in controlling the situation.”
He said of the 4,000 people taken into preventive custody, “fewer than 1,000 are still in jail, 800 of whom are stone-pelters”. Article 370, he said, was responsible for the killing of 40,000 people over the years. “What message went out?… I believe they were killed because of Article 370. We have removed Article 370, we need time to send word down the line. If someone keeps scratching the wounds, people may get instigated. As a precaution, we have kept them under detention. It is better to take precaution than allow loss of life,” he said.
Rejecting there was curfew in Jammu and Kashmir, Shah said there had been no firing by security forces in the last two months. “Kashmir is moving towards normalcy,” he said.