Srinagar, Aug. 25 (ANI): Stating that once pellet guns were considered as non-lethal weapon that inflict least damage, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is on a two-day visit to Srinagar, on Thursday said the government was waiting for the expert committee’s report, following which they would come up with an alternative soon.
“In 2010, it was considered that pellet guns are a non-lethal weapon that inflicts least damage, but now we are considering some alternative. The report on pellet guns will be given by the expert committee within few days, following which we’ll come up with an alternative soon,” said the Home Minister.
Calling on the people of Kashmir not to jeopardise the future of the youth, Singh said, “I have said it before also that the youth in Kashmir should have pens, books and laptops in their hands, not stones, and thus, we have to identify those elements, who are trying to mislead some of our youth in Kashmir. We want the future of Kashmiri children to be interlinked with the rest of India. The future of the rest of India is incomplete without Kashmir.”
The Centre would soon appoint a nodal officer to help Kashmiris in distress living across the country, said Singh, who was flanked by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti at a press conference.
Maintaining that without the future of Kashmir, the future of India cannot exist, the Home Minister said the government is ready for talks with “anybody” within the ambit of “Insaniyat, Jamhooriat and Kashmiriyat (humanity, democracy, Kashmiriyat).”
“I had said before coming to Srinagar that I would meet anyone who wants to talk. I met about 300 people and more than 20 delegations during my visit here, and they all want peace in Kashmir,” said Singh.
“I told Mehoobaji ( Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti) that we want to bring an all-party delegation here for that there should be full preparations,” he said on the proposed visit of an all-party delegation from the Centre.
More than 4,000 security personnel were injured, said Rajnath, adding that I would appeal to the people not to forget the role they played during floods in Kashmir.
He said security personnel had been told to exercise maximum restraint.
Meanwhile, Mehbooba said, “As you know that the Home Minister has come here for the second time in a month. We are concerned with the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the casualties. They are our own children and our own people.”
“Our youth are used by some elements as shields to attack army camps. They want our children to suffer. Ninety-five percent people of the state don’t want violence, they want peace, and we have to reach out to them. They want peaceful solution through dialogue, while only five percent derailing the process,” she said, adding that no solution could be found by stone pelting and attacking security camps.
The Home Minister, who is in Srinagar to take stock of the prevailing situation in the Kashmir Valley due to the unrest, held meetings with Mehbooba and several civil society delegations.
On Wednesday, the Home Minister had a series of detailed meetings with mainstream political parties, including ruling PDP, BJP and main opposition the National Conference and the Congress.
Singh’s latest visit is significant in the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for dialogue within the ambit of the Constitution.
Prime Minister Modi had met a delegation of mainstream political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir led by former chief minister Omar Abdullah on August 22. (ANI)