We trust Kashmiris, not Pakistan: MoS Kishan Reddy

 thehindu.com  08/16/2019 04:43:10  2

Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy on Thursday asserted that the Centre would protect the land, culture and traditions of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Kashmir Valley has been on edge after Parliament ratified two legislations reading down Article 370 of the Constitution and dividing the State into two Union Territories.

We trust the people of Kashmir but looking at the nefarious activities of Pakistan, which is posting fake messages on social media, we have taken certain precautionary measures, Mr. Reddy told The Hindu when asked about the curfew like restrictions in the Kashmir Valley. Mr. Reddy said the actions followed aggression shown by Pakistan.

The Valley has been under a lockdown since August 5 and several political leaders including two former chief ministers are in preventive custody.

Rashida Eijaz, a resident of Srinagar, said last week that she was deeply concerned that the Kashmiris identity and culture would be affected by the Centres decision. Tell the Prime Minister that he can keep the land, but we will not let let his decisions affect our traditions and cultural identity, she asserted.

We will protect Kashmiri culture just as we have protected tribal culture in Andamans, which is also a Union Territory, Mr. Reddy asserted. We will protect their land and traditions, he added.

The Centre would tread a cautious path in the Kashmir Valley over the next one month by refraining from aggressive political speeches and attempts would be made to calm tempers, a senior government official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official said so far several review meetings had been held to decide if the restrictions could be eased in a phased manner  before the Friday prayers on August 9, Eid celebrations on August 12 and for Independence Day. The Valley has been under a lockdown for 11 days with all forms of communications like landlines, mobile phones and the Internet blocked.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval would stay back in Srinagar for some more days to manage the situation, the official said.

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