The Constitution’s Article 370, which gave Jammu and Kashmir its special status, had “led to separatism”, Union Home Minister Amit Shah told Rajya Sabha today, hours after the Supreme Court backed the Centre’s move to scrap the Article four years ago.
“There are other states with more Muslim population than Kashmir. Then why only J&K was suffering from terrorism? It was because Article 370 led to separatism,” Mr Shah said, pointing out that top court, in its judgment today, said the Article was temporary in nature, meant only to ease Jammu and Kashmir into being a part of India.
The court’s order vindicated the government’s stand, said Mr Shah, who was the one to announce the revocation of the Article 370 and splitting of Jammu and Kashmir in August four years ago.
Even so, the Congress, he said, was not happy with the court’s verdict.
“Today, the Congress said in its press conference that the Article 370 was scrapped in an incorrect way. Even after Supreme Court verdict, they are saying that they don’t agree to this,” Mr Shah said.
Because of the government’s move to mainstream Jammu and Kashmir, the lives of people there have improved, the minister said.
The government’s move to mainstream Jammu and Kashmir has ensured that the lives of people there have improved, the minister said.
“Kashmiris don’t listen to people who talk about terrorism and separatism, they now listen to talks of democracy… Before 2014, thousands used to attend the funerals of terrorists. Does anyone see anything like that now? This happened because we made a provision, that their last rites will happen at the spot they were killed,” he added.
“Stone-pelting cases have come down because we brought a rule that if anyone has a stone-pelting case against them, no one from their family would be eligible for a government job,” he said. The government, he added, has handed young people laptops to young people who were carrying stones. “We are close to a terrorism-free Kashmir,” he said.