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What residents of J&K are saying about PM Modi’s speech on Article 370

By Anuj Cariappa

New Delhi, Aug 09: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday strongly defended his government's decision to revoke provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution for Jammu and Kashmir, a section of state residents alleged the way it was done was "extremely undemocratic".

Some even claimed that the Centre just wanted to win lands and "not hearts of Kashmiris".

What residents of J&K are saying about PM Modi’s speech on Article 370

From students to professionals, belonging to both Jammu and Kashmir regions, many were apprehensive that taking away of the special status, will render the "ecologically sensitive" province "vulnerable" to be exploited for infrastructure-related activities.

Article 370 gone: Modi promises a new dawn, full text of PM's speech

"Now, with revoking of the Article, flood gates will be opened for the corporate sector to invest in big projects. It will harm our pristine environment," a Kashmiri journalist, who did not wish to be identified, alleged.

Ajaz Ahmed, a physiotherapist who is in his 30s, said, "They only want the land of Kashmir and they do not want to win the hearts of Kashmiris."

"If they wanted to win our trust, they should have taken us into confidence, discussed about the pros and cons of the exercise and made us feel secure. Our families are living under siege there. If an emergency arises, our families won't even have access to an ambulance."

Reaching out to Kashmiris with messages of hope and optimism, Prime Minister Modi on Thursday assured them of all-round development, early and transparent elections and end to terrorism. He defended scrapping of provisions of Article 370, which he asserted, has only given separatism, corruption, family rule and used by Pakistan as a tool to spread terror in Jammu and Kashmir.

Highlights : Modi underscores importance of defanging Article 370

With the Kashmir Valley reeling under security clampdown, Modi promised the government is making all sincere efforts to ensure the people in the region have no difficulties in celebrating Eid on Monday.

"I want to assure friends of J&K that the situation will gradually return to normalcy and their difficulties will ease," he said, in his nearly 40-minute address.

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