Sunday, Oct 02, 2022

'Internet Necessity, But National Security Paramount': Amit Shah On Restrictions In Kashmir

Home Minister Amit Shah said not a single civilian was killed in police firing in J&K since August 5.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah File Photo

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said the curbs on the Internet in Kashmir valley will be lifted as soon as the local administration feels it fit to do so.

Shah said he agrees with the fact that the Internet is a necessity in today's age but defended the ban on it in the Valley, saying the national security is paramount.

Responding to a series of questions on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, the Union Home Minister said the situation in Kashmir was back to normal and that administration had been successful in thwarting any violent incidents.

"Not a single civilian was killed by a police bullet after August 5," Shah said, adding that some leaders had warned of bloodshed in Kashmir after Article 370 was abrogated.

"We heard leaders saying that there would be bloodbath on the streets of Srinagar but nothing of this sort happened," he said.

He said all newspapers and TV channels are functioning freely in Kashmir. He added that the circulation of newspapers in Kashmir had not declined.

The central government abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into two union territories on August 5 by striking down some provisions of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

The Kashmir valley remained under a strict lockdown imposed by the government for almost two months. Later, the restrictions were lifted in most of the areas. However, the government-imposed restrictions were followed by the self-imposed shutdown by the people.

Over the past two weeks, however, people have started resuming their business partially. The public transport that was off roads for three months has been restored.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad raised the issue of students' low attendance in the Rajya Sabha, saying the schools in Kashmir valley are witnessing a dismal presence of students.

Post-August 5, all the educational institutions remained shut for several weeks. Later, despite the efforts by the government to reopen the schools, students did not turn up, owing to the prevailing situation in the Valley.

The government has restored landline services, postpaid mobile phones in the Valley but the prepaid mobile services and Internet remain suspended since August 5.