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Centre to establish direct contact with Kashmir people: Rajnath

Under severe criticism over large number of Kashmiri youth being hit in the eye with pellets shots by security forces to control violence, the Centre on Thursday announced that it was setting up an expert committee to suggest alternative to this non-lethal weapon to control crowds.

Centre to establish direct contact with Kashmir people: Rajnath
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh

New Delhi

Regretting the killings in Kashmir, the government also said that it did not rule out that some mistake might have been committed by the security forces while dealing with the violence, but pointed out that along with the 38 deaths and 2,180 civilian injuries in firing, one police officer died and 1,392 security personnel were also injured in the attack by violent crowds. 

Replying to a discussion on the Kashmir situation held in the Lok Sabha under Rule 193, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he would establish direct communication with the people of Kashmir, especially the youth, and warned Pakistan against interfering in the internal matters of India. 

The Home Minister said the government was committed to preserving three values in Kashmir as underlined by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee — “Kashmiri at, jamhoriat and insaniat (humanity)”, but firmly believed that “haivaniyat” (brutal violence) should have no place in the “jamhoriat”(democracy) of Kashmir. Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he, himself had directed the security forces to observe maximum restraint while dealing with protestors. He said the expert committee on suggesting alternative to pellets will give its report within two months. 

The Home Minister said he was fully confident that all Kashmiri youth, except a handful misguided by anti-India forces, were patriots. He asked Pakistan to put its house in order before worrying for Indian Muslims. “Pakistan is not able to keep its people believing in one religion together, and it is fuelling unrest in Kashmir to hide from the world its own failure at home,” he said. 

He said the main task today was to wean away the Kashmir youth from the forces which were inciting them to violence to serve their own political ends.

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