Union Home Minister Amit Shah has praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for scrapping Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status, saying he paid a “true tribute” to almost 35,000 soldiers killed in the region over the decades, PTI reported on Monday.

The Union home minister, who addressed the 27th Raising Day event of the Rapid Action Force in Ahmedabad, said it was time to bring permanent peace to Kashmir Valley so that soldiers can enjoy its scenic views instead of putting their lives in danger, The Indian Express reported.

“I believe that Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid the most befitting tribute to 35,000 martyred jawans [in Kashmir] by abrogating Articles 370 and 35A,” he said. “The situation was such that our jawans were losing their lives in Jammu and Kashmir for so many years. This situation was there for 70 years, but nobody had the courage or even paid attention to rectify the situation.”

The Union minister said he wanted to assure Kashmiris that the region would “walk on the path of development”. “Our forces will take care of those who will try to disturb peace in Kashmir,” he added. “This move will bring everlasting peace.”

On Sunday, Shah had claimed that there were no restrictions in the state, and said that the lack of phone connections were not human rights violations.

The Centre has claimed that the restrictions have stopped thousands of deaths, incidents of terror and violence.

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