As the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir continued for the 48th day, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said an alternative to pellet guns will be proposed within a few days in the wake of widespread criticism of the crowd-control device that has left thousands of people in the Valley blinded.
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 Wednesday 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.”
Declaring there is no future for India without Kashmir, Singh again invoked Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s policy of ‘Kashmiriyat, Insaniyat and Jamhooriyat’ (Kashmir’s pluralist ethos, humanity and democracy) again to signal that the NDA government was ready for dialogue with anyone.
“We want to shape future of India. If future of Kashmir is not shaped, future of India cannot be shaped too,” Singh, with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti by his side said.
“There was a reason for 2010, Shopian (alleged rapes by security personnel) happened, innocents were being targeted by security officers. Don’t you confuse that situation with what is happening here now. The young man setting a police station on fire now cannot be compared with someone protesting being shot at while going out to buy milk,” Mehbooba said at a joint press conference with home minister Rajnath Singh.
Mehbooba added emphatically that the five per cent of Kashmiris inciting violence in the state since July are “anti-nationals” and not legitimate protestors with legitimate grievances. “You have to differentiate between people who want a dialogue and those who exploit young people to throw stones,” she said.
The chief minister was particularly angry with the aggressors’ tactic to use children as shields while attacking security forces, so that if there was any retaliatory action by the security forces, it was the children who would get hurt or killed. “Aapko samajh nahi aati? (Can’t you understand this?),” she asked, while showing a bit of irritation.
“95 per cent of Kahsmiris wanted a peaceful resolution to the problem and only five percent were bent on creating trouble, supporting dahshatgards to bring a bad name to the state,” added CM Mufti.