Totally convinced most Kashmiris support abrogation of 370: Ajit Doval

Doval explained the need for imposing restrictions in the state in wake of government’s decision to abrogate Article 370.

New Delhi: The National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on Saturday said the Army presence in the Kashmir Valley was only limited to fighting terrorists, and police and central forces were there for handling public order.

Commenting for the first time on the detention of the political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Saturday said everything was done within the framework of the law.

”They are in preventive detention till environment is created for democracy to function, which will happen soon” Doval said.

Dismissing rumours claiming criminal offence or sedition charges slapped on the detained leaders, he said: “they can challenge their detention in Court”.

This essentially means the government is answerable to courts and will have to pay a heavy penalty if it has done anything extra-judicial.

Doval also explained the need for imposing restrictions in the state in wake of the government’s decision to abrogate Article 370.

“It was done to maintain the law and order in the state. There were gatherings and terrorists would have used the situation,” Doval said.

He further added: ”92.5 per cent of the geographical area of Jammu and Kashmir is free of restrictions”.

In a wide-ranging interaction with a select group of journalists, Doval said only 10 of the 199 police districts in Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh now have prohibitory orders, while land-line telephones have been restored 100 per cent in all three areas.

Doval claimed that he was “totally convinced” that a majority of Kashmiris support the abrogation of Article 370.

In the removal of Article 370, announced on August 5, “they (Kashmiris) see greater opportunities, a better future, more jobs for youths,” he said.

“There is a vocal minority that opposes it. It appears to people that that is the voice of the people. That is not necessarily true,” he told the journalists, comprising Indian and foreign media.

Doval also ordered the shifting of two and a half-year-old girl Asma Jaan, who sustained injuries in Friday’s terrorists attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Sopore town, to AIIMS in New Delhi.



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