Alternative to pellet guns soon: Rajnath as he meets Mehbooba to discuss security situation

This is second visit of Singh in a month to the state. The Home Minister\'s visit is an effort by the central government to restore normalcy in the Valley,

Published: 25th August 2016 01:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2016 03:59 PM   |  A+A-


HM Rajnath Singh & J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti conduct a joint press conference on J&K situation. (ANI)


SRINAGAR: Home Minister Rajnath Singh today met Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti here during which discussions on the prevailing security situation in the state took place. Singh, who is on a two-day visit to the state in the wake of violent protests triggered after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani on July 8, took stock of security situation.

Earlier in the day, the Home Minister also met members of civil society who apprised him about the situation in the state. They also told him about the difficulties faced by the common citizen in the wake of protests and curfew.

This is second visit of Singh in a month to the state. The Home Minister's visit is an effort by the central government to restore normalcy in the Valley, which has been reeling under curfew and restrictions since trouble started.

"I shall interact will civil society groups, political parties and other stakeholders," he had said, before leaving for Srinagar, adding, "those who believe in Kashmiriyat, Insaniyat and Jamhooriyat (Kashmir’s pluralist ethos, humanity and democracy) are welcome."

He added that security personnel were told to exercise maximum restraint and soon there would be an alternative to pellet guns.

The Home Minister signalled that the NDA government was ready for dialogue. "I will only say that we are willing to talk to anyone within the ambit of Jamhooriyat, Kashmiriyat and Insaniyat," he said, avoiding a direct reply when asked whether the government was willing to talk to Hurriyat.       

The Home Minister said young children and youths, who should have taken pen or laptops, have picked up stones to pelt on security forces. "Who are these people, who has given them permission to take up stones. Can they guarantee to shape their (youths) future. We see future of Kashmiri children linked to the future of Indian children.        

"I appeal to Kashmiri people to identify those who are trying to create such a situation in the Valley. Without the future of Kashmir, the future of India cannot exist," he said.    

The Home Minister said the security forces were told to exercise maximum restraint while dealing with people, who have been protesting in different parts of the Kashmir Valley after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani on July 8.    

"Security personnel told to exercise restraint and they are exercising maximum restraint and also bearing the brunt of protesters and as a result 4,500 security personnel have been injured so far.         

"I would also like to appeal to everyone not to forget the role of security personnel during the floods in Kashmir (in 2014)," he said.

The Home Minister said those misguided youths who are picking up stones should be counselled. "If some misguided youths are picking stones then such youths must be counselled. Children are children. We cannot think of separating the future of Kashmir with the future of India," he said.

Singh said the government has identified those elements who are trying to mislead some of our youths in Kashmir. He appealed to those people, who are misleading the youths in Kashmir, not to play with the future of the children of the Valley.         

Singh said an all-party delegation will soon visit Jammu and Kashmir to interact with cross sections of people and the Chief Minister has been told to make arrangements for the same.

Replying to a question on central government's understanding of the prevailing situation in Kashmir, the Home Minister said, "Do not question our understanding of the situation. We are trying to find a solution". He said the central government will soon appoint a nodal officer to help Kashmiris in distress living in other parts of the country.          

Singh said more than 20 delegations and about 300 people met him during the two-day visit and all of them conveyed to him that they all want peace in Kashmir. "We are also sad over the situation in the Valley."         

The Chief Minister said 95 per cent people of Jammu and Kashmir want a peaceful solution through dialogue and just five per cent are derailing the whole process. "95 per cent people of the state don't want violence, they want peace. We have to reach out to them," she said.            

Mehbooba said no solution can be found from stone pelting and attacking security camps. The Chief Minister said focus of the central government and political parties should be those 95 per cent Kashmiris who do not want to create trouble, who do not want to attack establishment for vested interests.          

"Let us differentiate between those people who want peaceful resolution through dialogue, reconciliation and those who train poor children to pelt stones on roads and camps.      

"I hope focus should be those people who want reconciliation and within the ambit of Insaniyat, like Vajpayee had said. People who create trouble will be dealt as per law. They will not be allowed to make life hell for majority here," she said.        

Mehbooba said Kashmiri youths are being used by some elements as shields to attack Army camps as "they want our children to suffer".           

The Chief Minister also said that situation in 2016 can't compared with that of 2010 as then it was triggered following an alleged fake encounter and an alleged rape while this was the unrest began after killing of three militants.     

The Home Minister said whenever a Kashmiri youth or a security personnel is killed, the entire country suffers that pain. "Can we not pull out Kashmir from such situation ? I would like to appeal every one - every brother and sister of Kashmir to not play with the future of Kashmiri youth," he said.   

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