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Amit Shah gets bulletproof shield removed, says want to “speak frankly” with people of Jammu and Kashmir

Amit Shah says repealing of Article 370 had only one intention – to put Kashmir, Jammu and newly created Ladakh on the path of development.

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir): Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is on his maiden visit to Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, on Monday, asked for removing the bulletproof glass shield from the podium before addressing the gathering at Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC). The minister clarified that he wanted to “speak frankly” with the people of the Union Territory in the absence of any security or a bulletproof shield.

 

“I was taunted, condemned… Today I want to speak to you frankly, which is why there is no bulletproof shield or security here,” Shah said before addressing the gathering.

 

This comes merely a day after former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference President Farooq Abdullah, on Sunday, again called for talks with Islamabad for the sake of peace in J&K. Abdullah said, “There cannot be peace in Jammu & Kashmir till Pakistan is roped in for talks.” 

In his retort, Shah said, the government would rather talk to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir for making it the most developed in the country. 

“I read in newspapers that Farooq Abdullah has suggested that the government should talk to Pakistan. He has a right to his opinion but we would rather talk to the Kashmiri youth,” the Home Minister said. 

Shah emphasised that the repealing of Article 370 had only one intention – to put Kashmir, Jammu and newly created Ladakh on the path of development. He told the people will see the fruits of the government’s efforts by 2024. 

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Article 370 granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was abrogated in August 2019 and the state was bifurcated into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

first published:Oct. 25, 2021, 5:55 p.m.

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