New Delhi: In a major decision in the first meeting with a delegation from Jammu and Kashmir after removal of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday assured of providing Rs 2 lakh life insurance cover to each panch and sarpanch in the newly-created Union Territory.
The Home Minister also assured the delegation of restoring communications in the region according to the situation and full statehood when normalcy returns.
Shah met the delegation of panches and sarpanches around 1 p.m. at his North Block office, almost a month after the Centre scrapped the Constitution's Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and then bifurcated the erstwhile state into two states -- Jammu and Kashmir with an Assembly and Ladakh without one.
Jammu and Kashmir has been under restrictions since then with clampdown on mobile and internet communications.
After the meeting with the Home Minister, Mir Junaid, a panchayat member, said the Home Minister assured them of providing full statehood after normalcy returns. "He has assured of providing Rs 2 lakh insurance to each panch and sarpanch in Jammu and Kashmir."
Union Minister Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Additional Secretary, J&K, Gyanesh Kumar and senior officers of Kashmir division were also present in the meeting.
After the meeting, Jitendra Singh, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir, said that the Home Minister asked the delegation not to be misled by the misinformation being spread in Jammu and Kashmir.
He also said Shah told the delegation that a time would soon come when there would be no need of providing security to anyone. "There would be peace everywhere in Jammu and Kashmir."
"The Home Minister assured them (delegation) that this is only a passing phase. Statehood will return back when normalcy is restored there. The sarpanches assured the Home Minister that they would whole-heartedly participate in the BDC (Block Development Council) elections which are to happen in the next two months...
The Minister also mentioned that there would be jobs available to four to five youths in each villages. "The government would travel down to the villages and it will be through the medium of sarpanches. The priorities of the people will be decided on merit."