Today Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the campaign for the state election in Maharashtra where he spoke of his mission for Jammu and Kashmir which welcomes Kashmir and recreates it as the “paradise” it once was. PM Modi discussed his move to end the special status of Jammu and Kasmir and its bifurcation into two union territories as one of the key measures taken in the first 100 days of his second term.

“We promised the nation that we will make fresh efforts to solve the problems of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. I’m satisfied today that the nation is moving towards it,” he said.  

“We always knew and said “Kashmir humaara hai” (Kashmir is ours), but now, there will be a new slogan for every Indian… that “ab milkar ek naya Kashmir banana hai” (we must come together and build a new Kashmir… phir ek baar, Kashmir ko swarg banana hai... (Once again, we must ensure Kashmir becomes heaven on Earth),” PM Modi added.

He repeated his government’s opinion that the state had lost out on much of the benefits that the rest of India gets. By ending the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the obstacle to implementing laws has come to an end that is in place in the rest of India. It will also help to open various paths to bring in various Central projects that help various sections of people in other parts of the country.

“Kashmir lost out on a lot of good that could come its way from Delhi… but that hurdle has gone… they will benefit directly from Delhi now… it will benefit millions of people and give them a promising and better future,” he said.

Since August 4, Amit Shah announced in parliament, Jammu and Kashmir were placed under lockdown since August 4. However, the Centre declared that several restrictions have been lifted and phone services restored in most parts of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Last week, India also assured the UN Human Rights Council that “Democratic processes have been initiated. Restrictions are being eased continuously.” At the same time, it also pointed out that the preventive and precautionary measures were temporary and meant to ensure the safety and security of people in the face of threats of cross-border terrorism.

Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami, a Left leader under house arrest in Srinagar told reporters at a press conference, “They claim nobody has died, people are slowly dying, they feel suffocated. We want to live too, we should be given the chance too.”

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