Rajnath Singh calls marathon meeting to discuss development, security in Kashmir | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Rajnath Singh calls marathon meeting to discuss development, security in Kashmir

The participants in the meeting include senior home ministry officials and representatives from various central ministries and departments.

india Updated: May 18, 2017 07:57 IST
Rajesh Ahuja
Colleges re-opened in Kashmir after a week's closure but fresh clashes erupted as students staged protests against alleged high-handedness by security forces at Pulwama Degree College recently.
Colleges re-opened in Kashmir after a week's closure but fresh clashes erupted as students staged protests against alleged high-handedness by security forces at Pulwama Degree College recently.(PTI)

Union home minister Rajnath Singh will meet officials on Thursday to review the situation in Jammu and Kashmir which has been hit by violent protests following the killing of 8 civilians since the Srinagar by-elections, which saw one of the worst turnouts in the state’s history.

The valley has also witnessed unprecedented demonstrations led by students, including women, who were protesting against an alleged security clampdown on students in south Kashmir.

The meeting has been divided into two sessions, slated to be held in the morning and evening, to discuss the implementation of the Rs 80,000 crore development package for the state announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the continuous unrest in the valley.

The participants in the meeting include senior home ministry officials and representatives from various central ministries and departments.

“The idea is to give a push to the development work in Jammu and Kashmir and remove bottlenecks, if any, in the implementation of projects in the state under the PM’s package,” a home ministry official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.

The PM announced the package in November 2015. The Centre has already released Rs 17,000 crore to the state government as part of the package until March this year.

Projects under the package include augmentation of power infrastructure with a stress on new and renewable energy, improvement of road infrastructure in the state, flood relief, reconstruction and flood management, promotion of tourism, developing tourist circuits, and setting up of 50 tourist villages.

Around Rs 5000 crore from the project are going to be spent on improving healthcare facilities in the state which includes the creation of two All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS)-like institutions in Jammu and Srinagar.

In the second 2-hour session, the top brass will discuss the security situation in the valley with a focus on containing the unrest there.

Student protests have become a new challenge for the administration in Kashmir where the law and order situation has gone downhill after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in July 2016.

The situation has become tenser after several video clips, widely circulated on social media, showed alleged human rights violation by the armed forces.

“We need to find ways to break the cycle of violence in the valley. Once the cycle of protests, deaths and further protests is broken, the situation can be brought to normalcy in far more easily,” said a security official.

The official added that if the violence continues, it is going to be really hot summer in the valley.