In first in 30 yrs: J&K goes hartal, bandh free during Home Minister’s visit

Last Updated: Friday, 28 June 2019 (12:47 IST)
New Delhi: For the first time in the last 30 years, neither nor any gave a call for bandh or hartal in the Valley during the maiden visit of Union Home Minister’s visit.
 
None of the separatist group either issued any statement or put any charter of demands.
 
Over the three decades, these separatists groups have been notorious for shutting down the valley each time when a representative from Centre use to visit Kashmir.
 
This is result of the iron-fist policy of the government against terror and those funding it along with stern focus on implementing manifesto promises on Article 370 and Article 35(A), a senior official in the security setup said here on condition of anonymity.
 
Mr Shah who was on his first official visit to Jammu and Kashmir arrived in Srinagar on Wednesday.
 
He chaired several rounds of meeting with security stakeholders with a focus on overall security scenario in the state, review preparations for Amarnath Yatra and provide good governance in the state.
 
He had a separate meeting with Governor Satya Pal Malik.
 
While reviewing the preparations for Amarnath Yatra, the Union Home Minister’s focus was on a safe and smooth conduct of the Yatra. The review focused on the preparations made so far by security forces in this regard, the improvements made in the arrangements as compared to the previous years and any further requirements of security forces. The review also examined the administrative and other arrangements made for ensuring smooth conduct of the Yatra.
 
He also interacted with a representative group of Sarpanches from the state to gain an insight into the current state of functioning of Panchayats in the state. During the visit, the Union Home Minister also visited the home of the martyred Inspector of J&K Police, Arshad Khan.
 
The Home Minister’s focus was primarily on ensuring that the benefits of growth and development reach the poorest of the poor. He asked the State Government to focus on better and more efficient implementation of development schemes so that corruption and leakages are plugged and the citizens get the intended benefits.
 
He also asked the state Government should ensure that old age, disability and widow pensions reach all those entitled to these, in a timely manner. There should be a quick scrutiny of all eligible people who are left out and ensuring that they are included. The Central Government will ensure additional funds if needed.
 
He also asked the state Government to focus on dairy and animal husbandry sector as this state has great potential.
 
The State should work towards signing an MOU with Amul or Mother Dairy and create a programme for ensuring that it becomes surplus in this sector.
 
He also suggested that state Government explore possibilities in Poultry, Handloom and Handicraft sectors which can improve the livelihoods of the poorest in the state. The Central Government would support efforts in this direction.
 
Mr Shah also advocated to ensure that the newly established Panchayati Raj and Urban Local Body system takes deep roots and establishes itself as the third tier of Governance. There should be a drive to ensure that Panchayats and ULBs spend the funds given to them. These funds run into thousands of crore of rupees and ensuring their proper utilization would benefit the people.
 
“The socially disadvantaged groups in the state such as Paharis, Gujars, Bakarwals and other economically weaker sections must be benefited by reservation policy and no posts in these classes should go vacant”, Home Ministry officials said.
 
The State Government should take steps to ensure that the newly created Anti-Corruption Bureau focuses on cases of rampant corruption by the ‘High and Mighty’. Women being the key to any development process need to be at the Centre of all programmes. The state should work in this direction so that women can get better employment opportunities and livelihoods, he suggested.
 
Similarly, a programme needed for reaching out to the youth who are highly skilled such as MBBS, Engineers, MBAs to get a gainful employment or livelihood was also discussed. (UNI)