Kashmir: Rajnath briefs PM, hardline stance against separatists likely

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New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) The central government has decided to take a hardline posture vis-a-vis separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir and may soon order scaling down of their official security as well as other steps, said informal sources here on Tuesday.

The decision to take such a tough stance was taken at a meeting between Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi here when the former briefed PM about the recent visit of all-party delegation led by him to the violence-hit frontier state.

The central government is also likely to order “scrutinising” bank accounts of such leaders and expedite completion of pending investigations in cases against them.

“Steps may be taken to scale down their foreign visits and facilities like medical treatment as well,” sources said.

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Modi is said to have given his nod to the proposal to act tough with the separatist leaders, especially in view of the snub given by them to MPs from opposition parties during the all-party delegation’s two-day visit to the state from Sunday.

Sources, however, said the government may take a final call on initiating tough stance against separatists only after the meeting of the all-party delegation likely to be held here on Wednesday to discuss their findings during the two-day visit.

Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury, Janata Dal-United’s Sharad Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav, AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi and Communist Party of India’s D. Raja had gone to meet Hurriyat leaders but the latter declined to meet them.

The government feels that the Huriyat and other separatist leaders need to be “ignored and exposed” at a time when the common people are generally concerned about the issues of governance, joblessness and children education.

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Taking exception by the manner Hurriyat leaders declined to meet some opposition MPs who had tried to reach out to them, the Home Minister had said that their conduct was against “democracy and even ‘Kashmiriyat’ (traditional ethos)”.

Government sources have maintained that by such gesture, the Huriyat has “mishandled” the episode and this has only frustrated common people in the state.

Sources said during the meeting between Rajnath and Modi, a report prepared by the Home Ministry and the National Security Guard (NSG) was also considered.

In the report, security agencies including NSG have expressed concern that there is general “support” to extremism and terrorism from certain sections of the society including in J&K and this needs to be addressed.

According to the report, there is a strong recommendation that a general awareness needs to be created among people to be more cautious about the intent of extremist forces and of the use of explosives IEDs both in J&K and the rest of the country.

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Home Minister Rajnath Singh also met BJP chief Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley separately and a senior official reportedly spoke to Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who was also part of the delegation, sources said.

At least 76 persons have been killed and over 12,000 injured in the weeks of the turmoil, the deadliest Kashmir has seen in six years.



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