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APSPA can be revoked when militancy is completely over in J-K: Anurag Thakur

Jammu, Mar 28: The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) can be revoked when militancy is completely over in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said on Wednesday, as he highlighted a positive change in the overall security situation in the Union Territory.

He was reacting to the statement of Home Minister Amit Shah that the central government will consider revoking the AFSPA in J-K.

In an interview with the JK Media Group, Shah also said the government has plans to pull back troops in the UT and leave law and order to the Jammu and Kashmir Police alone.

“AFSPA is needed to fight terrorists but when there is no more militancy, it can be revoked. Shah had rightly said as Jammu and Kashmir under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is moving towards peace and prosperity,” Thakur told reporters on the sidelines of a road show in Udhampur district.

The road show was organised by the BJP in support of the party’s candidate and Union minister Jitendra Singh who is seeking re-election from the Udhampur parliamentary constituency for the third term.

“Jammu and Kashmir is moving in the right direction and the day is not far when the local police will be fully in control of providing security,” the minister said.

He said the UT has witnessed massive development over the past 10 years, while the people in Kashmir were freed of terror, stone-pelting and daily disruptions.

“Jammu and Kashmir is changing with the return of peace, opening of cinema halls, generation of employment avenues and massive sports activities,” he said, accusing the National Conference (NC), the PDP and the Congress of destroying J-K by brazen corruption.

“The three families who ruled J and K for most part of the past seven decades are frustrated seeing people staying away from terrorism and separatism and becoming part of the democracy,” he said, accusing them of turning Kashmir from paradise on earth into a bastion of terrorism and stone-pelting.

Seeking support of the voters for the party candidate, he said Singh has played an important role in the Modi-led government and is honoured and respected by the prime minister.

“The Modi government ensured all round development of J and K where over 45,000 people lost their lives due to terrorism… There is a boom in tourism as a record number of over two crore holiday-makers visited the valley last year, while witnessing massive investment,” he said.

Thakur also termed as “condemnable and unfortunate” the alleged demeaning remarks of Congress leaders Supriya Shrinate and H S Ahir and claimed that the opposition party is “anti-women”.

“They ruled the country for over 60 years but did nothing for the women. Under Modi, the incumbent government to honour women provided four crore concrete houses, 12 crore toilets, 13 crore house taps, 60 crore health cards, free ration to 80 crore population and LPG cylinders to 10 crore women. We also ensured 33 per cent reservation to women by bringing a bill in the parliament,” he said.

On holding of assembly elections in J-K, he said the deadline is already set and “I am sure the elections will take place with ECI team taking a fresh review (of the situation after completion of Lok Sabha polls)”, he said.–(PTI)

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