European parliamentary panel to visit Kashmir on October 29

Kashmir. (Photo: Reuters). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

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NEW DELHI, Oct 28, 2019, India Today. A European parliamentary panel consisting of around 28 MPs will visit Kashmir on October 29. PM Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval briefed the delegation and also discussed the issue of Kashmir and the situation there after the abrogation of Article 370, reported the India Today.

A 28-member delegation of the EU (European Union) parliamentarians will meet NSA Ajit Doval on Monday. The delegation will also call on Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday.

This comes after the international gaze was turned towards Kashmir after Article 370 was abrogated in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.

Iltija Mufti, from the Twitter handle of her mother and former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti, said, “Hope they get a chance to speak to the people, local media, doctors and civil society members. The iron curtain between Kashmir and the world needs to be lifted and the government must be held accountable for pushing J&K into turmoil.”

Kashmir has been under a communication lockdown ever since the government abrogated Article 370. While postp paid phones and landline services were resumed after over 70 days of abrogation, there are still a number of restrictions including Section 144 which are in place in the Valley.

‘Everything is normal’

Rejecting reports of clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir, a group of intellectuals and academicians in their report on the state said things were normal in the three regions of the state but suggested confidence-building measures to ensure equitable development of all regions and people.

Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, after meeting with the group said the decision to remove Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution from Jammu and Kashmir in August this year was a historic decision.

He said that opposite to the common perception, the state was most exploited under the pretext of Article 370.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir has been split into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. These union territories will come into effect from October 31.

‘Govt lying about ease of restrictions’

Earlier, Iltija had alleged that the Central government has been “lying” about the restrictions in the state and releasing the detained civilians, more than two months after the abrogation of the provisions under Article 370.

Tweeting from Mehbooba Mufti’s Twitter handle, Iltija said Section 144, which prohibits the gathering of more than four people, is “very much in place”. She further said that the local press of Jammu and Kashmir has been “threatened not to report the ground realities”.

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