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European Union envoy acknowledges Modi government's efforts to bring normalcy in Jammu & Kashmir

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 February 2020, 19:20 IST

India has taken optimistic course of action to reinstate normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir besides it is important to annul the remaining ristrictions swiftly, the European Union said on Friday, following their latest visit to the union territory under lockdown since August.

Deplomats from 25 countires including some from the European Union visited Srinagar and Jammu for days to inspect the state of affairs in the valley after the centre abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated it into two union territories.

The group contained representative from Germany, Canada, France, Italy, Poland, New Zealand, Mexico, Afghanistan, Austria and Uzbekistan, along with envoys from the European Union.

“The visit confirmed that the Government of India has taken positive steps to restore normalcy. Some restrictions remain, notably on internet access and mobile services, and some political leaders are still in detention,” a statement from the European Union said on Friday.

“While we recognise the serious security concerns, it is important that the remaining restrictions be lifted swiftly,” the statement from Virginie Battu-Henriksson, EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, added.

The visit, put in order by the Indian government, had been hit out at by opposition parties who were barred from visiting Jammu and Kashmir earlier.

This was the second group of foreign representatives whose visit was made possible by the government of India following the big declaration in August last year. Along with the announcement, the government had laid down an array of restrictions in the state, stating that they were preventive measures for possible reprisal. Six months on, some of them were still in place, including the ban on internet.

Previously, charges under the Public Safety Act (PSA) were brought against former Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, who have been under detention since August.

Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija, who handles her Twitter account, denounced the visit, stating, “How lovely! Kim Jong Un would be proud of such orchestrated diplomacy.”

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First published: 14 February 2020, 19:20 IST