Rajnath Singh assures alternative to pellet guns in Kashmir; Mufti says stone-pelting, attacking security camps won't bring peace

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday met Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to discuss the unrest in the Valley.

Last Updated: Aug 25, 2016, 13:09 PM IST
Rajnath Singh assures alternative to pellet guns in Kashmir; Mufti says stone-pelting, attacking security camps won't bring peace

Srinagar: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday met Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to discuss the unrest in the Valley.

Addressing the mediapersons, Singh said, the Centre as well the state government are committed to bring peaceful solution in Kashmir.

The Home Minister, who is on a 2-day visit to the Valley said, since yesterday he has met 300 people from different sections of the society.

Expressing grief over the deaths in Kashmir, Singh said, “those who died in the recent days, whether it was security official or a local, they are our own people.”

Kashmir has been witnessing unending violence since Hizbul Mujahidden militant Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter on July 08.

While addressing a joint press conference with Mufti, the Home Minister appealed to the Kashmiris not to play with the future of youth in the Valley.

He said, “the youth and the children should be stopped from resorting to stone-pelting,” adding, “at a time when the next generation should have books, computers in their hands, some people with vested interests are motivating them them to pick up stones.”

Singh asked the Kashmiris to expose the people who are throwing the youth into darkness.

The senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader said the Centre is planning to bring all-party delegation to Kashmir.

Coming to the defence of armed forces, the Home Minister asserted that the security personnel have been told to exercise maximum restraint and they are doing so.

On the issue of usage of pellet guns, the Union Cabinet Minister assured that an alternate non-lethal weapon will be provided soon.

“More than 4000 security personnel have also injured during the unrest. Will appeal to people not to forget the role the security forces played during floods in Kashmir,” Singh asserted.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is very much concerned about Kashmir and often talks to him on the issue.

When asked about his opinion on holding talks with Hurriyat leaders, Rajnath reiterated his stand saying, "those who believe in Kashmiriyat, Insaniyat and Jamhooriyat are welcome to talk to me."

“A nodal officer will soon be appointed for Kashmiris living in any part of the country. Any Kashmiri facing any trouble will be able to contact the official through a phone number (which would be announced soon) and he would make all efforts to solve the problems,” Singh maintained.

Mufti said 95 percent people want peaceful solution through dialogue, only five percent derailing the process.

“No solution can be found by stone-pelting and attacking security camps,” the J&K CM noted.

Authorities on Thursday continued curfew and restrictions in Kashmir for the 48th consecutive day.

The death toll rose to 69 after a teenager was killed in clashes with the security forces in Pinglina village of Pulwama district on Wednesday.