Special status boosted separatists' morale: J&K Deputy CM

 Jammu and Kashmir's special status has boosted the morale of the separatists, J&K Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said here on Thursday.

PTI| Updated: Sep 03, 2015, 21:30 PM IST

Panaji: Jammu and Kashmir's special status has boosted the morale of the separatists, J&K Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said here on Thursday.

"J-K's special status has had a psychological impact. People feel that they are not fully part of the mainstream. This has boosted the morale of separatists," he told reporters at a press conference.

He said that Narendra Modi government has done away with special status to any state.

"The special status was meant to decentralise powers. Under the Modi government, the NITI Aayog has already increased funding to states," Singh said.

Singh said J-K wants to tie up with Goa in the tourism sector.

"I had discussions with Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar in the morning about how J&K, which is towards the extreme North of India and Goa which on the west of India could work with each other in the tourism sector," he said.

"Tourism has lot of potential for both the states. Many Goan tourists come to Kashmir to visit Mata Vishnodevi temple as well as Ladakh region. Our aim is how to increase tourist footfall in these regions," Singh said.

"Since the 1990s, until recently, terrorism was a big concern. J&K's economy and society were disturbed, but today I can say that the situation has changed. We have seen some incidents on the border but when the media covers them, it gives the impression as if it happens all over J&K," the Deputy Chief Minister said.

Singh said that 3.5 lakh people participated in the Amarnath Yatra which passed through disturbed areas.

"However, there was not a single untoward incident," he said.

The minister said that the incident in which the alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Mohammad Naved was arrested took place after the Yatra was over.

"It happened 70 km away from Jammu on the national highway. It was not a big incident. He was also caught alive," Singh said.