Catch them young

While speaking in the Rajya Sabha Monday, Home Minister Amit Shah made a shocking claim that innocent village boys in the Kashmir Valley were lured with money to throw stones, while the children of those who incited them studied and worked in foreign countries. Asking the people in the Valley not to be afraid and not to be swayed by negative publicity, he said, ‘People from the Valley, please come forward and work with the Indian government. Protecting you and your property is our responsibility.’ Vowing to give a befitting reply to any attempt to break the country, Shah said separatist movement and terrorism will not be tolerated in Jammu and Kashmir and asserted that India wants peace, but not with those who do not respect its borders.

Replying to a debate in the Rajya Sabha on extension of President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir by six months beginning 3 July, he said the Modi government has ‘zero tolerance’ for terrorism and Central agencies such as NIA and the tax department are working to choke separatist financing in the State. Shah advocated a new thinking to solve the Kashmir issue, saying the approach of the past 70 years hasn’t yielded any result. ‘We want development in the Valley. But we will not tolerate any separatist movement and terrorism. Terrorists who do not want to join with India have no place in the government’s scheme of things. They will face severe action and difficulties,’ he said.

The Rajya Sabha Monday passed the statutory resolution for extending President’s rule as well as a bill to provide reservation to people living in three borders areas of the State. This completed the parliamentary approval process in both cases. The Modi government’s policy is to protect Kashmiri traditions, Shah said, adding that his government reopened schools, provided cooking gas, built toilets and provided electricity during President’s rule in the State. ‘We will win the hearts of Kashmiri people,’ he said. While winning the hearts of the people is important, equally vital are immediate steps to stop innocent children from falling prey to the evil designs of extremists.

NT Bureau