Centre won't hurt aspirations of J&K: Rajnath Singh
Srinagar:Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said the government will not do anything regarding Article 35A that would be against the aspirations and wishes of the Kashmiri people.
"I feel there is no reason for doubt and confusion on this issue. The centre has not gone to the court in this regard and I want to assure that whatever our government will do, it will not go against the wishes and aspirations of the people," Singh said while addressing media in Srinagar.
He said it was unfortunate that non-issue was being made an issue.
When asked about the RSS and even state BJP leaders and ministers seeking abrogation of the Article 35A and 370 of the constitution, Singh said: "BJP is a political organisation and I speak as a BJP leader and the Home Minister of the country. Whatever I said on this issue should be taken as final".
Replying a question on starting a political initiative in the state, the minister said: "I have never counted the number of times I came here. I have always come with an open mind, but people must come forward to talk."
Asked about the arrests of separatist leaders in the state, the Home Minister said the National Investigation Agency is the premier investigating agency of the country and is acting according to the law of the land, but added that this should not deter those who want to talk to the government.
"Law will take its course, but we are ready to speak to everybody. We have never opposed talks. The all party delegation came here and met everybody, we did not oppose that. I have already said that all stakeholders are welcome and anybody ready to talk to us is welcome," he asserted.
Asked whether a formal invitation would be extended to the separatists for a dialogue Singh said: "What is formal or informal? We invite everyone. I request your help to restore peace and understand the intentions of the Prime Minister who said Kashmir problem will be resolved by embracing the people of Kashmir and not by 'Goli'(Bullet) or 'Gaali' (Abuses)".
He said he has directed the security forces and the administration that children who have been misguided and pushed into violence should not be treated as criminals and put into jails.
"Such misguided children should be dealt with according to the juvenile justice system and not locked up in jails. They should be properly counselled and treated with compassion," he said.
Trees of peace have not dried up in Kashmir: Rajnath
Srinagar:Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that during his trip to Kashmir he was convinced that things were improving in the Valley.
Rajnath Singh while addressing media in Srinagar said: "What I have seen during last two, three days has convinced me that the trees of peace have not dried up. I can see green buds of peace on these trees."
"I have not counted how many times I have come here. If I have to come 50 times to bring peace to J&K, I will do that," the senior minister in the Narendra Modi government said.
Singh said he met 55 delegations during this visit and was always ready to meet anyone without reservations.
"I have met non-political people including students, teachers, things are improving with every passing day. The situation may not have improved completely, but it is improving. I don't want to leave out anyone with whom dialogue is possible," he added.
He said he was moved to tears while paying tributes to slain policemen in south Kashmir.
"While giving tributes to Kashmir policemen, the face of ASI Abdul Rashid's daughter, Zohra was passing through my mind. We want every face in Kashmir to smile," he said.
He said the issue of disturbed area allowance to state policemen on the pattern of central armed forces was being considered.
On the developmental front the minister said: "I have reviewed the progress on the implementation of Prime Minister's developmental package for the state. From the initially slotted Rs 85,000 crore, it will now cross one hundred thousand crore".
The minister also said that children must have been pushed by motivators to commit crimes and they should not be treated as criminals.
"They must be dealt under juvenile justice system and not be put into jails. They must be properly counselled. I told security forces that no excesses should be committed during operations."
He blamed terrorists for destroyed generations of Kashmir and reaffirmed that the government will not allow another generation to be destroyed.
"Poor people and businessman, youth with positive attitude and tourism industry have immensely suffered. After a wrong message went out, tourists stopped coming here. I want to send them a message that the people of Kashmir are ready to receive you, there is no danger here," he said.
On the use of pellet guns during crowd control, he said: "During crowd control, we have to act. We introduced the PAVA gun to replace the pellet gun, but I was told it is not very effective. In comparison to past, less people have been injured during crowd control in the Valley during the past months."
Asked whether political party delegations had sought revocation of AFSPA during their meetings with him, the Union Minister said: "No delegation talked about AFSPA during meetings with me here."