Government may seize separatists' passports; Azad to skip Rajnath's follow-up meet

Published: 07th September 2016 03:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th September 2016 03:25 AM   |  A+A-

Rajnath 2 Kashmir AP

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh arrives for a press conference in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. | AP

NEW DELHI: The Centre may harden its attitude towards separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, making their foreign travel difficult and scaling down the security which they enjoy at the exchequer’s cost.

Miffed over the cold shoulder given by separatists to the MPs, who were part of the all-party delegation that visited the state, the Centre is reportedly considering moves to curb their foreign travel by withdrawing their passports and denying travel documents in some cases.

Govt.jpgBesides these, the Centre will also scrutinise their bank accounts and complete pending investigations in cases against them so a strong message goes around that those provoking youths in Kashmir Valley to create disturbance since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8 will not be spared, government sources said.The home ministry’s tough stand came apparently after the nod from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is said to have conveyed that time has come to act tough with the separatists.

The snub by the Hurriyat leaders who refused to meet some members of the all-party delegation, has upset the government to the extent of Home Minister Rajnath Singh saying that such behaviour was neither “Kashmiriyat” nor “Insaniyat”.

Rajnath briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah on the situation in Kashmir after returning from his two-day visit to the state.The home minister, in an hour -long meeting, apprised Modi about the ground situation of the state assessed by the all-party delegation which visited Srinagar and Jammu on September 4 and 5.

Sources said the 26-member all-party delegation was likely to meet here on Wednesday to discuss their findings during their visit and chalk out future plans for the state.

But a key member of the group, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, will be skipping the meet.Azad, who once was Jammu & Kashmir chief minister, is now busy with the Congress’ Uttar Pradesh election campaign for which he’s travelling across the state with Rahul Gandhi. He has already given Rajnath his feedback. Azad had made a quiet, unannounced trip to Srinagar in the run-up to the all-party delegation visit to do crucial “ground work’’ and has been work in coordination with the home minister, sources said.

The Congress will be represented by Lok Sabha leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Rajya Sabha veteran Ambika Soni. The meeting called by Rajnath is expected to discuss a road map since the unrest in the Valley shows little signs of dissipating.The reason why a follow-up meeting is “required is because we never had the time, chance or scope to exchange our views there’’, CPI leader D Raja said. Raja was one of the Opposition leaders who went to meet the Hurriyat members such as Syed Ali Shah Geelani who refused to join any dialogue with the delegation. Rajanth later defended Opposition leaders and lambasted Geelani for failing to show basic courtesy towards the parliamentarians.  (With PTI inputs)

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