SRINAGAR: On an outreach to Kashmir, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday urged the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to acquire education and participate in sports to change their own fate, saying many of them have been "lost in the dark for many years" in the state.
The Centre had decided to withdraw cases against those "misled into stone pelting" as it was concerned about the future of Jammu and Kashmir's youth, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today.
Singh, who arrived at the state's summer capital today, is on a two-day visit to review the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
"We believe that children anywhere are the same. We understand that some youth were misled into stone pelting. Children can make mistakes. That is why we decided to withdraw the cases against those children who were involved in stone pelting," he said.
The Union Home Ministry late last year had ordered to withdraw cases against youths involved in stone pelting.
Singh appealed to the youth not to tread the path of destruction and said the Centre and the state government had initiated several schemes to help them secure their future.
WATCH: Home Minister Rajnath Singh adresses the media in Srinagar https://t.co/M5wC4N5BiP— ANI (@ANI) June 7, 2018
"I want to appeal to the youth that they should take the path of development. They should not go on the path of destruction," he said at a sports function at the Sher-e-Kashmir Indoor Stadium here.
"There is extreme love in the heart of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Jammu and Kashmir. It is our responsibility to provide a secure future to the youth of the state and it can be done with the power of education and miracle of sports," Singh said.
Lauding the state government for carrying out works for improving the sports infrastructure, the Home Minister said funds will not be a problem for promoting sports in Jammu and Kashmir. "Funds will be provided for promotion of water sports at Mansar and Pahalgam. Funds will be arranged for development of sports infrastructure," he said.
"With the help of the Jammu and Kashmir government, we will change the face and destiny of the state," Singh said.
"The state of Jammu and Kashmir has great talent and many more such sports persons can come out of the state if the conditions are right," he said.
The Minister said youth and the sporting talents of the state should take the benefit of the opportunity being provided to them by the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government.
"Many sporting talents have been lost in the dark for many years in this state. Now we are giving opportunities to the youth and sporting talents of the state. I believe that the youth of Jammu and Kashmir can change the future course and their own fate through 'Sports Ki Karamat' (miracle of sports) and 'Taleem Ki Taqat' (power of education)," Rajnath Singh said while addressing a sports conclave at Srinagar.
More than 3,000 sportsmen, students and enthusiasts from the three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh participated in the sports conclave.
Rajnath Singh also felicitated prominent sports personalities like Parvez Rasool, Manzoor Ahmad, Mehraj Ud Din Wadoo, Palak Kaur, Balveen Kaur, Surya Bhanu and members of Real Kashmir Football Club at the sports conclave organised by Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council in Srinagar.
#WATCH Kashmiri girl Tajamul Islam, who won the 2016 World Kickboxing Championship hugs Union Minister Rajnath Singh, also takes a selfie with him and J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti, at the J&K Sports Conclave in #Srinagar pic.twitter.com/qWZKOV4tci— ANI (@ANI) June 7, 2018
The Minister arrived here on Thursday for a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir to review the security situation amid an ongoing Ramadan ceasefire which the militants have flouted.
In his meetings with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Governor N.N. Vohra and security and intelligence officials, Rajnath Singh and his senior officials are likely to take a call on whether to extend the ceasefire beyond the Muslim month of fasting that ends of June 15.
Since the central government announced the ceasefire decision on May 16, militants have launched hit-and-run grenade and IED attacks on security forces.
Before leaving Delhi, Rajnath Singh said his visit will also involve interaction with youths, people living in border areas and other sections of the society in Jammu and Kashmir.
Several roads leading to the stadium were sealed by security forces, leading to massive traffic jams in the south area here, officials said. The traffic situation is expected to ease after the Home Minister moves to SKICC on the Dal Lake's banks where he will review the security situation later in the day, they said.