In an effort to reign in calls of a separate state in Kashmir, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has commanded Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to take “immediate and stringent action” in this regard.
The directive comes in the backdrop of Pakistan flags being unfurled at the rally of Kashmiri separatist Masrat Alam, who was controversially released from prison recently.
As per reports, the Home Minister instructed the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister that there can be no compromise on national security. “Politics cannot impinge on national security,” Singh said.
Masarat Alam is the alleged mastermind behind the massive protests in 2010 that saw Kashmiris clashing for months with soldiers and police officers. More than 100 people were killed in the violence.
In March, days after the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) Mufti Mohammad Sayeed took charge as chief minister in partnership with BJP, Alam was released controversially from Baramulla jail.
Masarat Alam had organized the current separatist rally in Srinagar to welcome Hurriyat Conference hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani back to the Valley after several months in Delhi.
During the protest, Alam’s supporters marched through the city and waved Pakistani flags in front of the Director General of Police office.
“It is absolutely condemnable. No one has right to raise pro-Pakistani slogans in this country. Those who have done it have violated the law of the country. I am sure the state government will act in the strictest possible manner against Masarat Alam and his supporters,” said the BJP’s Sambit Patra.
Earlier, Masrat Alam’s release from prison had left the BJP government red-faced and had become a raging focal point of conflict in its tense partnership with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.
The BJP is hopeful of getting its “first Chief Minister” in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370 from the state two months ago, and the planned delimitation of the Assembly constituencies.
In an interview to IANS, Jammu and Kashmir Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Ravinder Raina said, “Jammu and Kashmir is a unit. And as President of BJP here, I am confident that we will have a BJP Chief Minister in Jammu and Kashmir very soon.”
Jammu and Kashmir has seen several Chief Ministers from Congress, National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Meanwhile, the BJP which shared power in the state with the PDP for three years from 2015 to 2018, did not get the top post and had to accept the post of Deputy Chief Minister.
When asked about the planned delimitation of constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, Raina said, “The Election Commission will take a final call on the delimitation of the Assembly constituencies here.”
Raina said the poll panel will constitute a commission, which will be headed by either a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge.
The BJP leader pointed out that the commission which will be constituted for the delimitation process will follow all the standard prodecures.
The government abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution from Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 and also bifurcated the state into two union territories.
Following the revocation of Article 370, the government has enforced a massive clampdown on communication and internet services in the state and deployed heavy security presence.
To a question over the clampdown for 60 days in the state, the state BJP chief said, “Soon after the abrogation of Article 370 the mobile connectivity and internet facility was suspended here.
“And now you are witnessing that the mobile connectivity and Wi-fi services are given a free hand and people are using those facilities here,” Raina said pointing towards the Wi-fi hotspots and connections provided to the citizens in Jammu.
Pointing towards the Kashmir valley, where only landlines connections and BSNL mobile networks are operating, he said, “In Kashmir valley too, the communication systems whether it is landline connections or BSNL mobile numbers are being operated and are given access.”
“But there are still apprehensions that Pakistani agents may use the internet facilities to defame and to create mess and try to instigate the youth of the country,” he said on the internet suspension in Srinagar and other districts in the Kashmir valley.
Raina further said that Pakistani elements can instigate the youth and spread venom in the society and that is why preventive measures have been taken. “But soon you shall find all internet facilities will be opened and will be given free access,” he said.
India has on several occasions accused Pakistan of sponsoring terror and allowing its land to be used for terror activities. In recent days, the Indian Army and security forces have foiled terrorists’ attempts to enter Indian territory from the Pakistan side.
On India’s semi-high speed and feature-rich Vande Bharat Express arriving in Jammu from Delhi, he said, “We are thankful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal for providing the best train that is Vande Bharat Express to Jammu and Kashmir after the revocation of Article 370.
He said “Vande Bharat Express will provide all sorts of relief to passengers that we have seen at the overcrowded railway stations of Jammu Tawi, Katra and Udhampur. It is a big gift for the people of Kashmir,” Raina added. (IANS)