Amit Shah in Hyderabad.

Amit Shah in Hyderabad.

J&K integration complete with axing of Article 370: Shah tells IAS probationers

Curbs on media in J&K in national interest: Press Council to SC

Agency Report | Hyderabad/New Delhi | 24 August, 2019 | 11:20 PM

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said Jammu and Kashmir’s integration with India was completed with the scrapping of Article 370.

He said under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Parliament abrogated Article 370 to make Jammu and Kashmir an integral part of India.

Shah was speaking at the passing out parade of 70th batch of Indian Police Service (IPS) probationers at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy.

Paying rich tributes to India’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Shah said he achieved the challenging task of merging 630 states with the Indian Union.

Recalling that the Nizam of Hyderabad State was not ready to accede to the Indian Union, Shah said Patel succeeded in making Hyderabad accede to India with the historic police action.

“Under Sri Sardar Patel’s leadership, historic police action made Hyderabad, Telangana, Andhra, parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra a part of India. The credit for making this city a part of India goes to police action,” he said.

Shah said Jammu and Kashmir was the last missing point as its accession to India was not complete with the continuation of Article 370. “Everyone was feeling something was missing,” he said.

Stating that 33,000 policemen have so far laid down their lives for the nation, he told IPS probationers that they were going to become part of this great tradition of serving the nation.

Shah said the country faced several challenges to its internal security like terrorism, narcotics, cyber crime and challenges created by the neighbouring countries.

Stating that peace and security is a must for developed India and to achieve Modi’s vision of making India a $5 trillion economy, he said without internal security and law and order, peace and security was not possible.

He recalled that Patel, as the founder of civil services, had described civil servants as protectors of national interests. He asked IPS probationers to always keep in mind the words of Patel, who had termed IPS as watchdog of corruption-free India.

Noting that most of the probationers come from middle class and poor backgrounds, Shah said God had given them an opportunity to use their position to uplift crores of poor and make India better.

Stating that becoming an IPS officer is not the goal, he told the probationers that it is just the beginning of the journey to achieve the goal. He asked them to make their contribution in taking India to a respectable place.

“Making prosperous, educated and secure India should be our goal and not personal gratification,” he said.

Advising IPS officers to always play the role of safeguarding the Constitution, he said reach out to people and make close rapport with them to become ideal and successful police officers.

“I come from a cadre-based party and from my long experience I can tell you that communication, interaction and coordination are key to the success,” he said.

Shah said both elected representatives and civil servants get opportunity to serve the nation but while elected representative get five years, the civil servants get this opportunity for 30 years.

He advised the IPS officers to work fearlessly within the purview of the Constitution. “There may be occasions when you get orders which don’t come under the purview of the Constitution and you may be in confusion over interpretation of the Constitution. You should understand the spirit of the Constitution and implement it.”

He asked IPS officers to follow the ‘mantra’ of SMART policing which stands for sensitive, moral, alert, responsible and techno-savvy.

A total of 103 probationers, including 12 women, passed out of the Academy. The probationers include six from Royal Bhutan Police and five from Nepal Police.

Telangana Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy, Telangana Home Minister Mohammed Mehmood Ali, National Police Academy Director Abhay and others were present.
Meanwhile, the Press Council of India (PCI) has moved an application in the Supreme Court seeking permission to intervene and allow it to assist the top court in deciding on a petition filed by Kashmir Times Executive Editor that seeks relaxation in curbs on the movement of media personnel, including photojournalists, in Kashmir.

Kashmir Times Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin’s plea seeks relaxation in media movement and free reporting amid the security curbs and communication shut down in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5.

In her plea, Bhasin has asked the SC to ensure that an enabling environment is created for all journalists and media personnel in the state to practice their profession.

“The rights of the journalists/media for free and fair reporting are on the one hand and national interest of integrity and sovereignty on the other. Hence the applicant is of opinion that it should present its views before this court and assist the court in deciding the instant writ petition justly in the interest of the freedom of the press as well as in the national interest,” read the application.

The PCI also cited norms of journalistic conduct Clause 23, which prescribes self-regulation in reporting by journalists in matters of sensitive national, social or individual interests.

Under Clause 23, newspapers should, as a matter of self-regulation, exercise due restraint and caution in presenting any news, comment or information which is likely to jeopardise, endanger or harm the paramount interests of the State and society, or the rights of individuals with respect to which reasonable restrictions may be imposed by law on the right to freedom of speech and expression under clause (2) of Article 19 of the Constitution of India.

Clause 23 further states that the publication of a wrong or incorrect map is a very serious offence as it adversely affects the territorial integrity of the country and warrants prompt and prominent retraction with regrets.

The Press Council, in its plea, said the watchdog body was established for the purpose of preserving freedom of the press, maintaining and improving the standards of newspaper and news agencies in the country.

The Bar Council of India supported the PCI application. “The media today is expected to act in a manner which strengthens the country. The entire world is witnessing the biased role played by the media of Pakistan and some other nations,” said BCI chief Manan Kumar Mishra.

Mishra said every citizen of the country was duty-bound to protect its integrity and the media was no exception. “The Constitution has provided full freedom under Article 19, but it is subject to reasonable restrictions,” he added.