Trees of peace have not dried up in Kashmir: Rajnath

Trees of peace have not dried up in Kashmir: Rajnath

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that during his trip to Kashmir he was convinced that things were improving in the Valley.

Rajnath Singh while addressing media in Srinagar said: “What I have seen during last two, three days has convinced me that the trees of peace have not dried up. I can see green buds of peace on these trees.”

“I have not counted how many times I have come here. If I have to come 50 times to bring peace to J&K, I will do that,” the senior minister in the Narendra Modi government said.

Singh said he met 55 delegations during this visit and was always ready to meet anyone without reservations.

“I have met non-political people including students, teachers, things are improving with every passing day. The situation may not have improved completely, but it is improving. I don’t want to leave out anyone with whom dialogue is possible,” he added.

He said he was moved to tears while paying tributes to slain policemen in south Kashmir.

“While giving tributes to Kashmir policemen, the face of ASI Abdul Rashid’s daughter, Zohra was passing through my mind. We want every face in Kashmir to smile,” he said.

He said the issue of disturbed area allowance to state policemen on the pattern of central armed forces was being considered.

On the developmental front the minister said: “I have reviewed the progress on the implementation of Prime Minister’s developmental package for the state. From the initially slotted Rs 85,000 crore, it will now cross one hundred thousand crore”.

The minister also said that children must have been pushed by motivators to commit crimes and they should not be treated as criminals.

“They must be dealt under juvenile justice system and not be put into jails. They must be properly counselled. I told security forces that no excesses should be committed during operations.”

He blamed terrorists for destroyed generations of Kashmir and reaffirmed that the government will not allow another generation to be destroyed.

“Poor people and businessman, youth with positive attitude and tourism industry have immensely suffered. After a wrong message went out, tourists stopped coming here. I want to send them a message that the people of Kashmir are ready to receive you, there is no danger here,” he said.

On the use of pellet guns during crowd control, he said: “During crowd control, we have to act. We introduced the PAVA gun to replace the pellet gun, but I was told it is not very effective. In comparison to past, less people have been injured during crowd control in the Valley during the past months.”

Asked whether political party delegations had sought revocation of AFSPA during their meetings with him, the Union Minister said: “No delegation talked about AFSPA during meetings with me here.”

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