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On Normalcy in J&K, NRC: Here is How Home Minister Answered the Opposition

situation in Jammu and Kashmir

In the ongoing winter session of the Parliament, opposition Congress has raised enough noise over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Speaking in Rajya Sabha, Home Minister Amit Shah has set the record straight on J&K and also on National Register for Citizens (NRC).

On Jammu and Kashmir

Question from the Congress member

Why is section 144 still imposed in Jammu and Kashmir?

HM Amit Shah’s Answer

Section 144 is withdrawn from all the Police stations in J&K. But some restrictions are in place from 8 PM to 6 AM. It should not be an issue since there is hardly a reason to assemble in large numbers in these hours.

Question from the Congress member

When will the internet service resume? The Internet was never shut down for such a long period in the valley before.

HM Amit Shah’s Answer

Internet services in Jammu and Kashmir will be resumed in the region as soon as the local administration feels fit to do so. Considering that the neighbouring country is also playing its game in the Valley, the issue is a sensitive one.

It is a wrong claim from the Congress that internet service is facing curbs for the first time. It is only under NDA government under Vajpayee in 2002-2003 the internet service was introduced to the valley, even though the facility was available in other parts of the country before that time.

Question from the Congress member

How the government is going to address the shortage of medicines?

HM Amit Shah’s Answer

The supply of medicines is adequate. Mobile vans have started functioning and hospitals have enough medicine as well. In Srinagar city only, over 60 lakh people were taken care of in OPD in September.

Question from the Congress member

When will the situation in J&K attain complete normalcy so that educational institutions and commercial establishments can function easily.

HM Amit Shah’s Answer

The situation in J&K is already normal. There are attempts to paint it otherwise. Not a single person has died from police firing in these three months proving wrong all those who scared us about the bloodbath in the Valley.

The stone-pelting incidents in the valley have also come down compared to the last year. In this time period, there were 805 incidents that have come down to 544 this year.

All the schools in J&K are open and 99% of students have attended the exams.

In the sale of rice, petrol-diesel, kerosene and LPG there is an increase from 8 to 16% compared to last year and there are no shortages.

22 lakh metric tonnes of apples production is estimated, the majority of produce already been transferred out of the region, adequate arrangements have been made for transportation.

All landlines accounting for more than 93,000 are open. All 59 lakh mobiles are working.

All newspapers and TV channels have been functioning in the Valley without any hindrance. Except in the initial 3 days, banks are functioning without any hindrance, so are all the government offices.

More than 36,000 cases have come before the High Court after August

On NRC

HM Amit Shah’s Answer

Home Minister Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha also answered the questions related to NRC in Rajya Sabha. The key takeaways from the answers are as follow:

  • NRC was different from the Citizenship Amendment Bill, and had no provision that said certain religions would be excluded from it.
  • The Citizenship Amendment Bill is a separate issue in which the government is strongly in favour of granting citizenship to Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, Christian, Parsi refugees who are being discriminated on the basis of religion in Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan.
  • The process of NRC will be carried out across the country. No one, irrespective of religion should be worried, it is just a process to get everyone under the NRC.
  • As far as the implementation of NRC in Assam is concerned, people whose name have not figured in the draft list have the right to go to the Tribunals which will be constituted across Assam. For those who can’t afford legal counsel for the Tribunal, the Assam government will bear the cost.
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