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No demographic change in Jammu and Kashmir: Amit Shah

Last Updated : 15 March 2020, 14:19 IST

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A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi promises to work for the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir "at an early opportunity", Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday assured a delegation of the newly-formed Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party that the Centre does not intend to make any "demographic change" in the region.

Shah also told the 24-member delegation led by JK Apni Party chief Syed Altaf Bukhari that "visible changes" will be seen on the ground in the next few months and even political prisoners will be freed in times to come. He also said the Modi government would take all steps for the "overall development" of Jammu and Kashmir.

Amid concerns in a section that the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir could lead to changes in its demography, Shah said, "there is no intention of the government for demographic change in the region and all such talks have no basis at all" and that they will work with all sections of the society to "realise the hopes of statehood" for Jammu and Kashmir at an "early opportunity".

The delegation, which is the first one after the Centre annulled special status on August 5 last year, had called on the Prime Minister on Saturday.

An official statement said Shah assured the delegation that Jammu and Kashmir will have a "better domicile policy" compared to other states.

He also said a "reasonable" economic development policy will be drafted soon. An Industrial Policy will be announced for rapid economic development and a Land Bank has already been created, he said.

Seeking to allay apprehensions on restrictions, Shah told the delegation that all decisions on relaxations were "based on ground realities and not due to any pressure", as he referred to steps like release of people from preventive detention, restoration of internet, relaxation in curfew.

"Even political prisoners will be freed in times to come as the main objective of the government is that not a single person should die, be it a common Kashmiri or security personnel," he said.

On reservation, the Home Minister said that a Commission will be set up soon. "No injustice will be done to Gujjars, nomads and other communities," he said.

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Published 15 March 2020, 10:51 IST

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