'J&K statehood to return once situation normalised'

Union Home Minister Amit Shah (PTI Photo)

Claiming that Article 370 protected the Kashmiri culture and identity was a "wrong one", Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said that Jammu and Kashmir would not remain a Union Territory forever and statehood would be restored once situation is normalised.

Interacting with IPS probationers of 2018 batch here on Monday, he also said that the misuse of Article 370 was the root cause of cross-border terrorism.

"Jammu and Kashmir will not remain a Union Territory forever and that the statehood would be restored once situation is normalised. The notion that only the Article 370 protected the Kashmiri culture and identity was a wrong one. All regional identities are inherently protected by the Constitution. The misuse of Article 370 the root cause of cross border terrorism," he said.

He said "some bold decisions", including the one on Jammu and Kashmir, were necessary to be made for people’s benefit, "without getting bogged down by the fear of a backlash".

On the need for a National Register of Citizens (NRC), he said that it was essential not just for national security but for good governance as well.

"The NRC must not be seen as a political exercise but a Constitutional one, as it is very important to have a national register in order to ensure that benefits of development reach all our citizens," he said.

Advising IPS officers to ensure that there is freedom to take required decisions and owning up of responsibility at all levels, without overstepping of boundaries, he urged them to encourage and inspire their staff and build capacity of constables.

For developing a positive image of police, he said, it is necessary that young probationers focus on discharging their official duties honestly and make positive contribution for the betterment of the society.

On reforms in policing system, Shah said that reforming the system does not mean shunning traditional ways of policing totally, rather it is a continuous process of adaptation of the old methods to address new challenges.

He said the colonial role of police as an agent of fear is not the reality of today. There is a need to remove the fear associated with police through positive behavioural change in the personnel.

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