Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Monday lashed out at Congress MP Rahul Gandhi for his remarks about reports of violence in the Valley. Malik said he would send Gandhi an aircraft to visit the Valley and observe the situation, PTI reported.
“I have invited Rahul Gandhi to come here,” Malik said. “I will send you a plane, to observe [the situation] and then speak up. You are a responsible person and you should not speak like this.” Gandhi had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address these concerns in a transparent manner, and requested him to “lift the veil of secrecy” in Kashmir.
Malik said there was no communal angle to the scrapping of the state’s special status, which was granted by Article 370 of Constitution. “Scrapping of Article 370 and Article 35-A was for everyone,” the governor added. “There is no communal angle in Leh, Kargil, Jammu, Rajouri-Poonch and not here either [Kashmir]. There is no communal angle to it.”
The governor also claimed that foreign media had depicted the situation in Kashmir wrongly, and had been warned. “All hospitals are open for you and if even a single person has been hit by a bullet, prove it,” he said. “But only four people were hit by pellets in legs when there was violence by youths and there were no serious injuries to anyone.”
Malik also dismissed allegations that Kashmir had been turned into a “concentration camp”. “I know what it is. I have gone to jail 30 times,” he said. “Even then, I will not term it as a concentration camp. They [Congress] imprisoned people for one-and-half-years during Emergency, but nobody termed them concentration camps. Is preventative arrest [equal to] a concentration camp.”
On August 5, the government scrapped the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, and decided to bifurcate into Union Territories.