Srinagar, Oct 6: In a significant departure from the past, Home Minister Amit Shah addressed the rally in north Kashmir's Baramulla and visited downtown Srinagar without a bullet proof shield even as it was business as usual unlike hartals in the past during such high profile visits.
These are said to be the big takeaways of Home Minister's visit to the valley. Shah addressed a mega rally in Baramulla without a bullet proof shield and visited Gurudwara Chatti Patshahi in Rainawari area of the city, once infamous for stone-pelting protests.
Significantly, all this happened amid business as usual in the valley especially city centre Lal Chowk, which used to shut down on such high profile visits.
The significant change marks an improvement in the security situation in the valley.
In his address at the Baramulla rally, Shah said Prime Minister Modi "wants separatism and terrorism to end here and Jammu & Kashmir is becoming India’s paradise". "I appeal to people to uproot terror from Jammu and Kashmir…Modi government will not tolerate terror at all," Shah said in Baramulla. The minister said that this was earlier a terrorist hotspot and now it had become a tourist hotspot", he added.
“In Kashmir Valley, earlier maximum 6 lakh tourists used to visit every year, whereas this year till now 22 lakh tourists have visited. This has given employment to thousands of youth. Earlier, stones and guns were given in the hands of the youth of the Valley, but today Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given mobiles and laptops to the youth by setting up industries so that the youth can get employment," Shah said in his meeting in Baramulla, as per News 18.