Restoring normalcy in J&K biggest challenge for govt

Last Updated 30 October 2019, 11:32 IST

With five terror attacks in last fortnight targeting outsiders, the biggest challenge before the new administration in the bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir will be to restore normalcy and instil confidence among people, including migrant workers.

The state, whose special status under Article 370 was scrapped on August 5, will be bifurcated into two union territories on October 31. Parliament had passed the reorganisation of the state into two union territories on August 6.

It is also to be seen when and how the administration will be releasing the political leaders who are in detention since August 5.

The government has been claiming that there was no violence in the state following its decisions as it took steps like cutting off internet and other communication as well as restrictions on movement. It has said that over a period of time, several restrictions have been lifted and the Kashmir valley is returning to normalcy.

Since October 14, there were five terrorist strikes in which 11 non-Kashmiris were killed. Four truckers, a brick-kiln owner, an apple trader and five workers were among those killed and all of them were non-Kashmiris.

The targeting of outsiders, especially involved in economic activities or labour, has sent shock waves as well as message to the administration.

Another question will be when will the government fully lift the lockdown, which has hit normal life and economy of the state. Shops are not fully open while many of the educational institutions remain closed in Kashmir while the situation in Jammu region is more normal compared to the valley.

The security establishment is also keeping its fingers crossed about the response of the people once the restrictions are removed. So far, there has been no attempts to organise protests, but civil society groups say that Kashmiris are in a different mode of “civil disobedience”.

The new administration under Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu will have to earn the trust of people and nudge them to resume normal life. The administration's biggest job will be to get people open their shops and sent their children to schools and colleges.

Another task will be to get state's economy, which has taken a big hit, back on track. Tourism sector, as well as carpet and apple sectors, have been hit since August 5 when the government announced the scrapping of special status.

Holding Assembly elections to the Jammu and Kashmir union territory will be another challenge. The elections are not expected any time soon as the Narendra Modi government is keen on completing the delimitation exercise, which Opposition alleges is to alter the composition of seats to suit BJP's designs to install its own government.

(Published 30 October 2019, 11:32 IST)

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