The no-nonsene Home Minister Amit Shah issued clear message to the anti-nationals and terrorists of the Valley and made it clear that he brooks no dissent on Kashmir being an integral part of the country
Deepak Zazia, Srinagar
It was merely coincidental that when Union Home Minister Amit Shah was holding a meeting to review security scenario in Kashmir Valley, sleuths of Income Tax Department were conducting raids at the residence of National Conference (NC) stalwart and former Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather at Jammu.
J&K Governor Satya pal Malik welcoming Union Home minister Amit Shah in Srinagar
Abdul Rahim Rather is a strong proponent of discriminatory Article 370 and anti-Dalits and anti-women Article 35-A of the Indian Constitution but his son has abused position his father and managed loans worth 177 crores, through illegal means from J&K Bank. Rather, one of the ideologues of NC, is also the author of highly controversial Resettlement Act aimed at allowing Pakistan to reclaim their immovable properties in J&K, especially in Jammu region.
Within minutes after sleuths conducted raids at Rather’s residence, Anti-Corruption Bureau of J&K Police formally registered a case against former Finance Minister’s son Hilal Rather, in a loan case. It was merely a coincident, but that action has sent a clear message that after Home Minister’s visit administration in J&K is going to take action against the might and power of J&K people who have shamelessly abused Article 370 and Article 35-A only to further their petty personal agenda. Sleuths raided the offices and residences of two prominent business families – affiliated, one each, to NC and Congress.
Extending Reservation Benefits to IB dwellers likely to change the destiny of 3.5 lakh border residents
After returning from Kashmir, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had introduced Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill 2019 in the Parliament which was passed by both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Passing of this Bill will not only change the destiny of over 3.5 lakh border residents of Jammu, Samba and Kathua District but it will also remove three decade long discrimination with these helpless people who just and genuine demand was rejected the previous governments at the Centre.
This Bill is aimed to provide reservations in educational institutions and government jobs to the people living within 10km of the International Border in the Jammu region, just like those living on the Line of Control (LoC).
This Bill will change the destiny of the people living on the IB as a reservation will help in socio-economic growth of the poor people. For the last nearly three decades IB dwellers were agitating to get benefits like their counter-parts of LoC. Earlier move to give reservation benefits to IB dwellers were made in the year 2017 but the same was sabotaged by the previous coalition government headed by Mehbooba Mufti.
People residing near the LoC as well as the IB are equally affected by the firing from across the border and deserve equal treatment but unfortunately, residents near the IB were not getting benefits such as reservation.
Residents of 70 villages of Kathua, 133 villages of Samba and 133 villages of Jammu districts will be benefitted from this Bill as they will get reservation benefits.
Starting from Paharpur of Kathua to Chicken Neck to Pargwal sector of Jammu district, the 198 kilometre IB with Pakistan has witnessed bloodshed and destruction since long. But during the last decade intensity of shelling and firing has increased manifold due to hostile relations of two countries.
At least five of these premises in Jammu and Srinagar belong to the family of Abdul Rahim Rather, and next only to President Farooq Abdullah. Since his debut in the electoral politics in 1977, Rather has won six Assembly elections and lost only once, in 2014.
Raids were also conducted at the residence of Janak Raj Gupta, who was a Congress leader until his death, on September 13, 2015. Holding the status of a Cabinet Minister, Gupta had functioned as Advisor to Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in 2007-08. An official statement from New Delhi made it clear that the raids were a routine exercise to curb terror funding and J&K Bank money was allegedly swindled by certain businessmen. During his two-day visit to Valley, Shah was the first Home Minister of the country who has given a clear signal to the anti-national elements and their supporters. Before winding up this visit to Kashmir, Shah had directed the police and security forces to observe zero tolerance towards terrorism and terrorists and asked to continue strict action against terror-funding. “The Rule of Law should be enforced,” Shah asserted emphatically at a security review meeting with senior officials of police, civil administration, bureaucracy, and security forces.
First Time No Shutdown during Home Minister’s visit
Spelling out the policy of the new government at the centre, Amit Shah has made it clear to the security officials that there should be zero tolerance towards terrorism’ in Kashmir
Contrary to the convention in the last three decades, police or intelligence agencies were not asked to seek liaison with any separatist or militant leader, even as they had not, significantly, called for a shutdown.
Most of the Prime Ministers and Home Ministers have been greeted with shutdowns by separatists and militants in the State over the last 30 years.
It is believed that it was all due to Amit Shah’s commitment towards nation’s security that for the first time in Kashmir, separatist groups could not muster guts to give calls for a shutdown on the visit of Union Home Minister to the Valley.
Interestingly, neither factions of the Hurriyat Conference-led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq called for a shutdown. None of the separatists issued any statements either. Over the last three decades, separatist groups have been notorious for shutting down the Valley each time a representative of the Central Government visits.
Spelling out the policy of the new government at the centre, Amit Shah has made it clear to the security officials that there should be zero tolerance towards terrorism’ in Kashmir. The major focal points were zero tolerance for terror. Strict action for terror funding. The rule of law should be upheld.
Amit Shah praised work of J&K Police in countering terrorism & militancy and directed that State Government should commemorate the martyrdom of its policemen in their hometowns/villages in an appropriate manner each year. Prominent public places should also be named after martyred police officers.
Apart from emphasising on strengthening security grid, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also declared war against corruption by asking the State administration that cases of rampant corruption by the “High and Mighty” should be taken up with “fast track investigations” and called for balanced development of all three regions of the State including Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Eight significant directions passed by Shah during the review of developmental works and projects of the State in Srinagar.
The Home Minister directed for the strengthening of the newly established Anti-Corruption Bureau.
- He called upon the State administration to take up on priority for “fast track investigations” the cases of rampant corruption by the “High and Mighty” in the State.
- The Home Minister directed that the State officers should be fully sensitive towards balanced development of all three regions-Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and inclusive approach towards all communities so that none feels neglected.
- Home Minister directed that a regular time should be fixed for public hearings at all levels including Village, Tehsil, Sub Division, Division, District and Secretariat.
- Home Minister called upon the State administration to facilitate investments for generating large scale employment opportunities for local youth. Renowned educational and health institutions should also be motivated to establish their institutions in Jammu & Kashmir, he said.
- Shah called upon the State Government to ensure that poorest of the poor in Jammu and Kashmir will get the benefits of good governance in all spheres.
- Reviewing major developmental projects announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he directed that works should be completed in a time bound manner. He said he would regularly review the performance achieved in all development projects.
- He added that out of Rs 80,068 crore worth Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP), 82 per cent of funds have already been sanctioned for 63 projects.
Before the beginning of Amit Shah’s much-publicised visit to Kashmir, mainstream and separatist politicians, who earlier used to blackmail the Centre through their deceitful tactics, tried to create a narrative that without inviting them for talks Union Home Minister’s visit would be a futile exercise.
But Shah, instead of succumbing to the blackmail tactics of these politicians, discussed the security scenario in meetings. He rather preferred to meet real public representatives, especially elected Panchayat members of the State.
Shah met delegations of Panches and Sarpanches, besides some representatives of the tribal Gujjar community.
He also called on the family members of Inspector Arshad Khan, who was among six Police and CRPF personnel killed in the June 12 terror strike in Anantnag.
Quoting sources, media reported that Shah did not want to talk to any of the politicians, even on the telephone. He, however, presided over a function organised to commemorate and honour the BJP workers killed by terrorists.