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Indian Consulate, Embassy list steps taken for normalcy in Kashmir

Washington, Oct 11 (IANS) The Indian Embassy in Washington and the Consulate General of India in Atlanta, through a news release, have listed out the steps being taken by the Indian government to bring about normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir since revocation of its special status, including organizing of elections to 310 block development councils on October 24.

In a note detailing the actual ground situation in J&K in an attempt to dispel the “disinformation and false narrative being propagated”, the embassy said that the Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu & Kashmir kick-started the election process for the BDC polls.

It also said that permission has also been granted for leaders of the National Conference to meet with party leaders Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah. Permission has also been given for a delegation from Peoples Democratic Party to visit their party chief Mehbooba Mufti.

It said that a number of cultural and sporting activities are being organized in J&K and Ladakh, including a week-long Naropa festival at a monastery in Ladakh and a badminton tournament for children.

It said that the Supreme Court observed that the Indian government needs to be given more time in its sincere efforts to bring about normalcy. It has constituted a five-member constitutional bench to hear petitions challenging the revocation of Article 370. These are listed for hearing in October.

It said there has been “no incident of major violence” and “not even a single live bullet has been fired”. “There has been no loss of life in police action. Some protests have been handled by local police while exercising full restraint,” it said.

However, it said that “terrorists and their proxies are trying to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in Kashmir, to disrupt normalcy in Jammu & Kashmir.

These include terror attack on a family of apple growers in Sopore on September 7, where a three-year old girl and her family were injured, arson and burning of taxis, other vehicles, threatening posters by the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba, threatening school children and their parents, youth, government employees, shopkeepers to observe a ‘shutdown’ or face consequences.

It said there was no movement restriction in J&K and Ladakh. Air services, rail services and vehicular movement are normal. Government offices are fully functional.

Telephone communication has been restored. All telephone exchanges are operational.

Essential supplies, including 24×7 electricity, water supply, healthcare and sanitation are being ensured. Enough stock of all essential items, food items and baby foods are available.

Hospitals and medical facilities are functioning normally. There is no shortage of medicines. All schools are open and functioning normally, colleges are also open.

Medical and dental colleges are functioning smoothly and students are appearing in examinations without any inconvenience.

It said there is no restriction on media, journalists in J&K. All mainstream newspapers are being printed, 37 English dailies, 53 Urdu dailies and 2 Kashmiri dailies are published In Kashmir. Satellite channels and Cable TV networks are operational. There is no restriction during Friday prayers.

The Indian Embassy’s note comes as a counter to Pakistan’s continuing effort to spread disinformation about Kashmir through its lobbying with the foreign media and diplomatic circles and with US politicians.

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