JAMMU: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday met Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in Sringar to discuss the prevailing security situation in the state and appealed to the people of Kashmir to not play with the future of youths, adding that there would soon be an alternative to pellet guns.
Singh, who is on a two-day visit to the state in the wake of violent protests triggered after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani on July 8, took stock of security situation.
Addressing media in a joint conference with Mehbooba Mufti, Rajnath Singh said that he had held meetings with more than 20 delegations and about 300 people from various background have since Wednesday.
Appealing to the people of Kashmir, Singh said, “Don’t play with future of the youth. I have said it before also, youth in Kashmir should have pens, books and computers in their hands, not stones.”
Singh also said that it was necessary to identify those elements who were trying to mislead some of the youth of Kashmir. “The rest of India’s future is incomplete without Kashmir. Without the future of Kashmir, the future of India cannot exist,” Singh added.
The Home Minister also stated that the security personnel had been told to exercise maximum restraint and would be given an alternative to pellet guns soon.
Meanwhile, CM Mehbooba Mufti also said that 95% people of the state didn’t want violence but want peace and added, “We have to reach out to them.”
Earlier in the day, the Home Minister also met members of civil society who apprised him about the situation in the state. They also told him about the difficulties faced by the common citizen in the wake of protests and curfew. This is the Union Home Minister’s second visit to the state in a month.
The Home Minister’s visit is an effort by the central government to restore normalcy in the valley which has been reeling under curfew and restrictions since trouble started.
“I shall interact will civil society groups, political parties and other stakeholders,” he had said, before leaving for Srinagar. Singh also said that “those who believe in Kashmiriyat, Insaniyat and Jamhooriyat (Kashmir s pluralist ethos, humanity and democracy)” would be welcome.