AGENCYPANAJI: Union minister Shripad Naik on Wednesday said the Independence Day celebrations this year hold greater significance as the Centre has cured the “long pending wound” in the form Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. Residents of the Kashmir Valley will now be able to celebrate the Independence Day in the “real sense” and the region will prosper along with other states of the country, the minister of state for defence said. The Centre on August 5 announced that Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 was being revoked and proposed that the state be split into two Union Territories. Naik said this was one of the key decisions of the present Modi-led government’s tenure. “The Independence Day this year is more important as we have managed to cure the long pending wound that we had in the form of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. We can say that the people of Kashmir can now celebrate the Independence Day in the real sense,” he told PTI over phone from Delhi. Jammu and Kashmir was always an integral part of India, but due to “wrong policies” of governments in the past, it remained away from the developmental avenues that the country has been witnessing, the Union minister said. “It was a demand of the entire India that Article 370 be revoked. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to fulfill the demand and he did so,” he said. Those who were fostering terrorism in that region will now have to “shut their shops” after the central government’s decision, Naik said. “Jammu and Kashmir will now prosper along with other states of the country. It will no more remain a backward state,” he said.
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