J-K saw one of the most peaceful festive seasons in decades: Govt

New Delhi, Dec 4 (PTI) The government on Wednesday rejected claims made by a National Conference member in Lok Sabha about the situation in Kashmir, saying the region witnessed one of the most peaceful festive seasons in decades.

Participating in the debate on Demands for Grants, Hasnain Masoodi (NC) said political leaders have been put under house arrest and internet shutdown is creating problems for students, entrepreneurs and professionals.

He also demanded that people be allowed to offer prayers at the grave of Sheikh Abdullah on his birth anniversary on Thursday.

After a brief exchange of words between the opposition and the treasury benches on the situation in the Valley, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh said the region has remained by and large peaceful following scrapping of special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Singh said the area has seen one of the most peaceful festive seasons in the last 20-30 years. 'You have seen the videos of how the Sunday market is crowded,' he said.

Referring to internet shutdown, he said it has helped security forces liquidate terrorists.

On the issue of detention of leaders, including Farooq Abdullah, he said Sheikh Abdullah was kept in house arrest some 2,000 km away in Kodaikanal (Tamil Nadu).

But Farooq Abdullah is staying in his house, he said.

Earlier, during the course of the debate, B Mahtab (BJD) said that normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir does not end with Farooq Abdullah and political leaders.

Normalcy will be restored once the Kashmiri pandits, who were driven out of the Valley, return to their homes, he said, adding they too deserve justice. PTI JTR CS NAB RT RT