Will Grant Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir at an Appropriate Time, Home Ministry Tells Parliament

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The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday told Parliament that statehood will be granted to Jammu and Kashmir at an appropriate time.

According to the ministry’s reply, the Delimitation Commission has already notified orders.

The MHA, while replying to a question on elections in J&K and grant of statehood, said, “Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir would be granted at an appropriate time. The Delimitation Commission has notified orders on 14th March, 2022 and 5th May, 2022 on delimitation of Parliamentary and Legislative Assembly Constituencies of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The decision to conduct elections is the prerogative of the Election Commission of India.”

The Home Ministry has also listed steps taken by the Government of India for the development of UT.

“Moreover, the Government has taken several steps for all-round development of Jammu and Kashmir, including Implementation Flagship programmes, establishment of IIT & IIM, two new AlIMS and fast tracking of infrastructure projects in roads, power, etc,” the MHA said.

“Besides, a new Central Scheme is being implemented for industrial development of Jammu and Kashmir with an outlay of Rs 28,400 crore, which would provide employment to 4.5 lakh persons,” the MHA said.

As against previous number of 37 and 46 Assembly seats for Jammu and Kashmir, respectively, the Delimitation Commission has notified 43 seats for Jammu and 47 seats for Kashmir, the MHA said.

In another reply, the Government said there has been a substantial decline in terrorist attacks from 417 in 2018 to 229 in 2021. However, there have been a few attacks on people belonging to minority communities and migrant workers by terrorists sponsored from across the border.

“As per the information provided by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, 28 migrant workers have been killed since 2017, of which 2 belonged to Maharashtra, 1 to Jharkhand, and 7 to Bihar,” the MHA said.

The Ministry also said that ex-gratia relief/ compensation was granted as per rules to the next of kin of any person killed by terrorists. An ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh is paid to the kin of civilians killed in militancy-related violence under the existing scheme of Government of Jammu and Kashmir. In addition, Rs 5 lakh is given under the ‘Central Scheme for Assistance to Civilian Victims/Family of Victims of Terrorist /Communal/ LWE Violence and Cross Border Firing and Mine/IED Blasts on Indian Territory’.

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