Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Annoyed Centre to toughen stand against separatists, cut funds and security

While the Centre has decided to scale down the security presence in Jammu and Kashmir after Home Minister Rajnath Singh-led all-party delegation's visit to the state, the separatists leaders' refusal to hold talks has not gone down well with the government. After Singh's meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, the Central government indicated that it will toughen its stand against the separatist leaders. 

 Reports suggested that the Centre will not only scrutinise the bank accounts of the separatists, but also speed up pending investigations in cases against them. These leaders are also likely to be banned from making foreign trips and Z-scale security provided to them will be scaled down. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs of India Kiren Rijiju said that the government will take action keeping national interest in mind. On Monday, Singh hit out at the separatist leaders for snubbing the government attempts to hold talks with them. 

"The members had gone to hold talks but by refusing to talk, they have shown that they (separatists) do no believe in Kashmiriyat, insaniyat (humanity) or jamhooriyat (democracy)," said Singh, reported PTI. Apart from Singh, MPs like CPM leader Sitaram Yechury, CPI's D Raja, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, RJD's Jay Prakash Narayan and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi were part of the delegation. Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday hit out at the separatists for "spoiling" the youth of the Kashmir Valley and said that it was an an "insult" to "Kashmiriyat" after they shut their doors on the members of the all-party delegation. 

"We have lost several opportunities in the past to resolve the issue through engagement and dialogue and today again if we miss the chance, the coming generations will never forgive us for our intransigence," she said, according to PTI. Making an emotional appeal, the chief minister said the separatist leaders lost an opportunity by refusing to engage in a dialogue with the government and prominent members of Parliament. She said that the separatists are responsible for the fact that the children in Kashmir are picking up stones instead of going to schools and colleges. 

 "Despite the challenges and impediments, the prevailing painful situation in Kashmir necessitates once again reaching out to all shades of political opinion in the state and initiating substantive political and economic measures to revive and consolidate the peace and resolution process," she said. Meanwhile, at least four persons were injured in fresh clashes on Wednesday between protesters and security forces in south Kashmir's Anantnag district as restrictions continued throughout the valley. An all-party meeting is underway in Parliament and the fate of the separatists depends on the outcome of the meeting.

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