Stone-pelting, militancy recruitment reduced: Rajnath

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with the President of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party Mehbooba Mufti in Srinagar on Tuesday. PTI

Underlining his commitment towards a peaceful and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said that stone pelting incidents and local recruitment into militancy have come down in recent months. 

"As far as the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, there has been a major shift in the last four months. There has been a decrease in the number of stone pelting incidents. Also, I have got information that there has been a fall in the number of militant recruitment in the state," he said while addressing a press conference here.

Rajnath, who was on a day's visit to Kashmir, said that earlier this year, there were reports of increased militancy-related activities here. "The regional parties in the state and the central government have not always nodded heads in agreement, but the central leadership remains committed to the cause of the people here," he said.

The home minister said that both state and central governments are working towards the development of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh regions. "It is our aim to make Jammu and Kashmir a developed state," he said.

While hailing peaceful election process during urban local body polls in the state, he said, "Now the stage is all set for historic Panchayat elections aimed at the devolution of power to ground level in the state."

On the death of seven civilians in a blast in southern Kulgam district on Sunday, the home minister said, "We are deeply hurt due to the unfortunate incident and heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. Though life can't be replaced by money, we announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia for the bereaved families," he said.

On Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's offer of dialogue with India, he said, "There is no harm in talks, but terror and dialogue can't go together. Our prime minister broke all protocols (in December 2015) and met the then Pakistani prime minister and his family. But what was the outcome of this?" 

Without naming Hurriyat Conference leaders, the home minister said, "We are ready to talk with anyone who wants to talk. I can't elaborate it further."

Earlier, Rajnath reviewed the security situation with senior officials from security forces, police and civil administration in the state, and also met Governor Satya Pal Malik at the Raj Bhawan.

The home minister also met PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti. This was the first meeting between the two leaders after the fall of PDP-BJP alliance in the state in June this year. An official spokesperson said the two leaders held discussions on various important issues relating to security management, implementation of development programmes and positive engagement of the youth in the state.

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Stone-pelting, militancy recruitment reduced: Rajnath

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