Srinagar: Union home minister Rajnath Singh here on Thursday declared that decision on a proposed move for a substitute to pellet guns will be announced in a few days.
The Government response has come to the widespread criticism of use of the deadly crowd-control device that has left thousands of Kashmiris blind in the current unrest in Kashmir. Present at the press conference Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said “95% people” in the state wanted peace, but the rest of the 5% were fanning unrest in Kashmir”.
According to KNS correspondent, replying to a volley of question Home Minister Rajnath at a joint press conference with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti appealed to everyone to not play with the future of Kashmiri youth, urging people to identify those “fanning trouble”. “Don’t play with the future of the Kashmiri youth,” Singh said, requesting people to identify the “trouble-mongers”, Singh told the reporters at the presence in presence of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
He said “youth in Kashmir should have pens, books and computers in their hands, not stones. If Kashmir has no future, India has no future.”
The Home Minister said that his ministry would soon set-up a nodal agency that will look into complaints of Kashmiri youth across the country. “I want to inform you that the Ministry of Home Affairs will appoint a nodal officer for Kashmiri youth across the country. They can call the officer on the number which will soon announce it,” he said.
“I’ve told CM Mehbooba Mufti that an all-party delegation should visit the state and preparations should be made for that,” Singh said. Singh said an expert committee will submit within four days a report on pellet guns, which have been held responsible for the massive number of injuries in the Valley. “We will propose a substitute to pellet guns within a few days,” he added.
Though considered non-lethal, their use have been under scrutiny with reports of many of its victims losing sight. Present at the press conference Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said “95% people” in the state wanted peace, but the rest of the 5% were fanning unrest”.
Mehbooba said the street protests in 2010 — where more than 100 people died – and the current unrest couldn’t be compared. “Civilians had died in 2010, there was a fake encounter in Machhil. There was a reason behind people’s anger.”
But she said the government couldn’t be blamed when security forces killed three militants — including Wani — on July 8. “Did young children go to buy toffee in army camps? 95% of those killed are children of poor people and those injured by pellet guns. The two episodes can’t be compared.”
On whether the government will hold talks with the separatist Hurriyat, Singh said: “We want to hold talks with everyone within the ambit of humanity.”
On Wednesday, Singh had said he was willing to talk to all civil society groups within the framework of “Kashmiriyat, Insaniyat (humanity) and Jamhooriyat (democracy)”. (KNS)
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.