National Security Adviser Ajit Doval who is personally overlooking security arrangements in Jammu and Kashmir was video-ed chatting with locals in the Kashmir Valley today amidst the continuing lockdown over the centre’s decision to strip Jammu and Kashmir of special status and split it into two Union Territories.
Doval was seen sharing a meal of traditional Kashmiri Wazwan served on the streets by a handful of residents in Shopian, with shuttered shops in the background and a ban on large gatherings in place.
The NSA was heard asking a group of people, “How is everything? What do you people think,” and one of them replies, “Everything is good”.
“Yes, everything will be fine. Everyone should live peacefully. Whatever the almighty does is good. Your security and well-being is our only concern. We are thinking about the growth and welfare of your generations,” Mr Doval said, as per news agency ANI.
The visuals sought to project normalcy in Kashmir after incidents of stone-throwing and violent protests during which protesters were allegedly chased by the police in Srinagar.
Over 300 political leaders remain in custody as part of the government’s measures since midnight on Sunday to avoid trouble.
Former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, who were placed under house arrest hours before Home Minister Amit Shah announced that Jammu and Kashmir would no longer enjoy special status under Article 370 of the constitution, remain in safe houses they were moved to on Monday.
It is not known yet when they will be released.
Over 40,000 troops are in Jammu and Kashmir, sent over the past weeks in the government’s meticulous preps for its Article 370 move.
As part of a complete communications blackout, phone services and internet connections remain suspended. Top officials are using satellite phones to communicate.
Source : Various