Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Tuesday asked people not to pay heed to rumours about the special status of the state, saying “everything is normal”, PTI reported. Malik was responding to queries on a series of orders being circulated on social media about the possibility of a prolonged law-and-order problem in Kashmir.
In the past three days, several orders, purportedly by statement government officials and the Centre, have fuelled rumours that an important decision related to the state was in the works, according to PTI.
“No order is valid,” Malik said. “If someone catches a sneeze in Lal Chowk, by the time it reaches governor house, it is projected as a bomb blast.”
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah called Malik’s statement a “very serious matter”, calling for investigation into the matter. “Fake orders were circulated under the signature of senior government officers,” he tweeted. “This is not something that can be dismissed with a simple sound byte. The CBI must be asked to investigate these fake orders and their origin.”
The Centre last week decided to deploy 100 additional companies of paramilitary forces in the state. The order reportedly caused anxiety and fear in the state. The Union Home Ministry, in a letter, clarified that the additional troops were deployed to strengthen counter-insurgency operations and maintain law and order.
On Monday, it was reported that the state police had ordered five zonal superintendents of police in Srinagar to submit details of mosques in areas under their jurisdiction. While a senior official clarified it was done as a basic updating exercise for police stations, it added to speculation that the central government might do away with Article 35A of Constitution, which grants special rights and privileges pertaining to jobs and property ownership, among other things, to the Jammu and Kashmir’s permanent residents.