'J&K Netas To Be In Custody Till Normalcy'

Defending government’s move of detaining political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir after repeal of Article 370, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on Saturday said they have not been charged with any criminal offence and are only in “preventive detention” while noting that they would remain in custody till an “environment is created for democracy to function”.

“In case there were gatherings, terrorists would have used the situation. None of the Jammu and Kashmir political leaders has been charged with any criminal offence or sedition, they are in preventive custody till the environment is created for democracy to function, which I believe may happen soon”, he said in an interaction with journalists here.

NSA Doval also said that detention of political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir was in accordance with the law and the leaders can challenge their detention in court.

He said the situation was getting “much better” than what he had anticipated.

“I think the situation is getting much better than what I anticipated. Only one incident was reported on August 6 in which one young boy succumbed to his injuries. He did not die of bullet injury. The post-mortem report says he died because some hard object that hit him. In so many days, only one incident has been reported and it may be noted that we are talking about the terrorist-infested area”, Doval said.

The NSA also talked of Pakistan’s attempts to create disturbance in the Valley and stated that messages have been intercepted in which “Pakistan handlers” were criticising their men for failing to obstruct the movement of vehicles.

Doval also expressed his desire to see all restrictions lifted from the Valley.

“We would like to see all restrictions go, depending on how Pakistan behaves. It is a stimulant and response situation. If Pakistan starts behaving, terrorists won’t intimidate and infiltrate, if Pakistan stops sending signals through its towers to operatives, we can lift restrictions,” he told media persons.

The NSA said that as much as 92.5 per cent of the geographical area of Jammu and Kashmir was free of restrictions and the situation is getting better.

“92.5 per cent geographical area of Jammu and Kashmir is free of restrictions. We are determined to protect the life of citizens of Kashmir from Pakistan terrorists even if we have to impose restrictions for it. Terror is the only instrument that Pakistan has to create an adverse situation in the Valley”, he said. (ANI)

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