Sopore: "It was a risk worth taking", is how Union Minister Jairam Ramesh described his visit to this north Kashmir town without taking much security enroute, thereby avoiding causing any hardship to people.
"It was a bit of risk considering an encounter had happened just a few days ago but I wanted to take it," Ramesh told a news agency when asked if there was any fear in his mind on visiting Sopore described as the hot bed of militancy in the state.
"It was worth taking the risk. It creates a psychological impact and builds confidence that the situation is indeed improving," he said.
Ramesh, who visited Sopore after 19 years, was all praise for the beauty and re-emergence of this township, 52 kms from Srinagar in north Kashmir.
"I had told my officers (of Rural Development Department Ministry) that I want to go to Sopore and some of them suggested setting up of a training centre (under Himayat scheme) here. It took us six to seven months but finally we are here," he said.
Ramesh travelled to Sopore from Srinagar Airport without as much security a union minister usually travels with.
The minister inaugurated a training Centre at Bohripora here under the Himayat Scheme and interacted with a large number of people and asked them for their suggestions to make the scheme better.
He took various questions from young boys and girls who are undergoing training at the centre and wanted facilities like heating arragement, more books and transport.
Ramesh directed the officials to make the necessary arrangements.