MPs met separatists in individual capacity: Rajnath Singh

"Some members of the delegation went to meet Hurriyat leaders. We had neither said no nor yes to their meetings (with separatists). You know what happened. They had gone there in their individual capacities," the Home Minister told reporters here.

He was referring to an attempt by some national opposition leaders from the delegation to hold talks with top Kashmiri separatists on Saturday. But the separatists refused to talk them.

Hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani didn't let them in as Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav and Communist leaders Sitaram Yechury and D. Raja kept waiting at the door of his upscale Hyderpora residence for about ten minutes before returning.

Rajnath Singh said the behaviour of separatist leaders towards the MPs was "certainly not Kashmiriyat".

"It is not insaniyat (humane) also. They (the separatists) don't even believe in jamhooriyat." 

Visibly disappointed over the opposition leaders' attempt to cut ice with separatist leaders, the Home Minister said he tweeted before arriving in Srinagar "we are ready to talk to anyone who wants peace and normalcy in Kashmir".

The all-party delegation arrived here on Sunday on a mission to initiate dialogue to restore peace in the restive Kashmir Valley that is battling nearly two months of the deadliest unrest in years.

The situation in the valley continues to be tense amid recurring street protests, triggered by the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. At least 74 people have been killed and nearly 12,000 injured in the weeks of the unrest, the deadliest since 2010 when some 120 people died in firing by police and paramilitary troopers.

Rajnath Singh said "everybody in Kashmir wants peace and normalcy to return".

"I am hopeful that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir will improve. There is no doubt that Jammu and Kashmir is, was and will remain an integral part of India."

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