Senior govt official terms deployment of soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir as 'routine'; denies suggestions of Centre scrapping Article 35A

A senior government official termed the deployment of soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir as 'routine' and dismissed claims that the Centre was looking to scrap Article 35A.

Press Trust of India July 30, 2019 20:01:50 IST
Senior govt official terms deployment of soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir as 'routine'; denies suggestions of Centre scrapping Article 35A
  • A senior government official termed the deployment of soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir as 'routine' and dismissed claims that the Centre was looking to scrap Article 35A

  • The remarks by the functionary came amidst heightened concerns in Kashmir that the Centre may take a drastic step, like repealing Article 35A

  • It is necessary to relieve them from 'hard duty' and bring in fresh deployment, he said

New Delhi: A senior government functionary on Tuesday rejected suggestions of immediate scrapping of Article 35A, which provides special rights to Jammu and Kashmir, and termed as "routine", the deployment of soldiers, saying it was done to relieve troops posted there.

Senior govt official terms deployment of soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir as routine denies suggestions of Centre scrapping Article 35A

Representational image of Jammu and Kashmir. PTI

The remarks by the functionary came amidst heightened concerns in Kashmir that the Centre may take a drastic step, like repealing Article 35A, and that the deployment of additional troops may have meant to tackle any consequent law and order problem.

However, the source said security forces in the state, especially in the Valley, were under a prolonged spell of strenuous duty due to panchayat poll followed by Lok Sabha election and now Amarnath Yatra.

It is necessary to relieve them from "hard duty" and bring in fresh deployment, he said, adding that the assembly elections in the state are also expected to be held soon.

Article 35A of the Constitution, which gives powers to the state to define the state's permanent residents, is termed discriminatory by its critics.

In Kashmir, Governor Satya Pal Malik also said that "everything is fine, everything is normal" and rejected as "invalid" the government orders, including the one seeking details from the police about mosques and the ideological affiliations of their managements.

Asserting that any order appearing on social media was not valid, Malik said, "If someone catches a sneeze in Lal Chowk, by the time it reaches Governor house, it is projected as a bomb blast."

Taking a dig at regional parties like National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party for their attack on the BJP, the government functionary, who did not wish to be named, said people in the state are boycotting these "family-run parties" and not elections.

He said the state had witnessed 75 per cent polling in the panchayat poll, with voters in the Valley also exercising their franchise enthusiastically. Though south Kashmir, which has been worst hit by the recent violence, saw poor turnout, north and central parts of the Valley saw much higher polling percentage.

People want to vote but they do not want to vote for these two parties, he said, claiming that this is why the local polls have seen a higher turnout.

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