The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday released front-page advertisements in local newspapers urging residents to not be afraid of threats from militant activities and to resume their daily activities.
“Are we going to succumb to militants,” the full-page advertisement asked. “For over 70 years now, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been misled. They have been victims of a vicious campaign and motivated propaganda that has kept them trapped in an endless cycle of terrorism, violence, destruction and poverty.”
Parts of the state continue to be under restrictions, including in communications services, since the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status on August 5. The government, however, claims the situation in the state is almost back to normal.
In the advertisement, the government alleged that the separatists sent their children to “exotic lands” to study, work and earn but pushed common people to take up “violence, stone pelting and hartals”. “They used threats of terrorists, coercion and misinformation to beguile the people,” it said. “Today, militants are using the same tactic of threats and coercion. Are we going to tolerate this?”
The advertisement also said Jammu and Kashmir was at “crossroads” today. “This is our home, it is for us to think of its well-being and prosperity. Why fear?” it said.
Iltija Mufti, the daughter of the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehooba Mufti, made a note of the “pleading tone” of the state administration in the advertisement. “Despite the brutal lockdown since 5th August, Kashmiris have been resolute about a civil curfew as a mark of protest,” she said. “If the [authorities] truly cared for people, they’d lift the telecom ban.”
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