Home Minister Amit Shah today said the centre has fulfilled the dreams of the country's first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel by integrating Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country.
"We have fulfilled Sardar Patel's dream by making Jammu and Kashmir an inseparable part of India," Mr Shah said at the passing out parade of Indian Police Service (IPS) officers at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad today.
The government earlier this month removed special status from Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into two union territories. Restrictions are still in place at many parts of the state and over 400 politicians, including former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are under arrest.
"Congratulations and thanks to the families (of IPS officers) for all the support they have given to IPS officers and the country," Mr Shah said.
Laid a wreath and paid my respects to the IPS Officers who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. pic.twitter.com/RDF8bGcWLP— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) August 24, 2019
"Sometimes, challenges will come and there will be some doubts in your mind when you may get orders that may seem unconstitutional, but please always work within the Constitution. We politicians get a chance to work for five years, while you get a chance to serve the country for 30 years," the Home Minister said.
Mr Shah's address to the freshly-minted IPS officers comes on a day when Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders are flying to Jammu and Kashmir, despite a warning by the government to stay away.
Among the parties that will be part of the opposition's all-party delegation that will land at Srinagar are Congress, CPI(M), CPI, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Nationalist Congress Party, Trinamool Congress and the DMK, sources said.
Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma are the senior Congress leaders other than Rahul Gandhi who will fly to Jammu and Kashmir. Mr Azad was twice stopped at Jammu airport, most recently on Tuesday, and was "forcibly" sent back to Delhi both times.
"We are all responsible political parties and leaders. We are not going to break any law. The Jammu and Kashmir situation is very concerning. It's close to 20 days. No news for 20 days. The government says the situation is normal. But then they don't allow leaders to go? Haven't seen such contradiction... If it's normal, why aren't we allowed?" Mr Azad said as he left for the airport this morning in Delhi, news agency ANI reported.