J&K, Ladakh fully integrated into India: Govt

Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh have been fully integrated into the mainstream of the nation after the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state, Union Minister of State for Home, G Kishan Reddy, told Parliament on Wednesday.

He told Rajya Sabha that as many as 613 separatists, overground workers and stone pelters were detained in Jammu and Kashmir since August 2019 and 430 of them have been released so far.

Replying to another question, Reddy said after the constitutional changes and reorganisation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been fully integrated into the mainstream of the nation.

“As a result, all the rights enshrined in the Constitution of India and benefits of all the central laws that were being enjoyed by other citizens of the country are now available to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh,” he said.

Reddy said the change has brought about socio-economic development in both union territories, empowerment of people, removal of unjust laws, bringing in equity and fairness to those discriminated against since ages who are now getting their due. These, along with comprehensive development, are a few of the important changes that are ushering both the new UTs towards the path of peace and progress.

With the conduct of elections of Panchayati Raj Institutions such as Panches and Sarpanches, Block Development Councils and District Development Councils, the three-tier system of grassroots level democracy has now been established in Jammu and Kashmir, he said.

The minister said various measures were taken in the interest of security and public order which included preventive detention of certain persons.

“Since August 1, 2019, 613 persons including separatists, overground workers, stone pelters, etc. were detained at various points of time. Out of these, based on regular review and ground situation, 430 persons have been released till date,” he said in a written reply to a question.

The minister also said that the Jammu and Kashmir administration has further reported that no person is under house arrest in the UT.

Reddy also said the Jammu and Kashmir administration has approved a business revival package of Rs 1,352.99 crore on September 25, 2020.

An amount of Rs 434.08 crore was released up to December 31, 2020, out of which Rs 250 crore was as economic package and Rs 184.08 crore as COVID-19 relief. The amount of Rs 434.08 crore has been fully utilised by December 31, 2020, he said.