Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha also said that there is no need to review the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in Jammu and Kashmir.


JAMMU — Jammu and Kashmir’s New Delhi appointed Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Monday said there is no need to set up a panel to review the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Sinha was asked if Jammu and Kashmir feels the need to set up a panel to review or repeal the AFSPA as is being done in Nagaland.

“Do not be concerned about it. I am looking into it. I do not feel any such need (to set up a panel to review it),” Sinha told a press conference in Jammu.

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The Government of India on Sunday constituted a high-level committee, headed by a secretary-rank officer, to examine the possibility of lifting the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Nagaland, apparently to soothe the rising tension in the northeastern state following the killing of 14 civilians.

Sinha also rejected apprehensions among political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir about demographic change in the erstwhile state.

“I outrightly reject it. I will not react to statements of leaders,” Sinha said while replying to another question.

In a bid to address such apprehension, the LG said, a large chunk of local youth have been given employment in hydropower, tunnel, and road projects in J&K.

He said it is an attempt to incite people. “We will take people on board,” he said.

In his address earlier in the day to the first investment summit, Sinha said that some people don’t want J&K to grow on the development front and that his government is committed to “break all walls that create hurdles” in making the J&K at par with other parts of India.

Addressing the J&K Real Estate Conference in Jammu, Sinha said that some people keep on misleading others that there can be no development in J&K. “They don’t want J&K to develop at par with other parts of India. They want industries without giving land for it and development without investments. But we will break all walls that will come in the way of J&K,” he said.

Sinha said attempts to create hindrance will be dealt with. “We will bring down the wall of hindrance (in the development journey of Jammu and Kashmir). We will take swift steps in this development journey,” he said.

He said that Srinagar will host Real Estate Summit on May 23 this year that will pave way for Kashmir’s development on the real estate front. The LG also announced that likewise in other parts of India, J&K too will have a Central Secretariat soon as the land for the same has been identified.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration opened the erstwhile state to mainland India’s real estate investors by signing 39 MoUs worth Rs 18,300 crore “for the development of housing and commercial projects”.

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LG Sinha said that at present all hotels, guest houses, and lodges are booked due to the huge tourist influx in Kashmir at present. “I get three to four calls from people and friends to arrange hotels for them as all hotels are booked in Kashmir. There is a need to have more hotels and guest houses in Kashmir to accommodate more tourists,” he said.

(With inputs from PTI and KNO)

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