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Muslims have not allowed radicalisation to spread in India: Rajnath Singh at HTLS 2018

The home minister said the situation in Kashmir will improve, but expressed dismay that Pakistan was still indulging in cross-border terror.

htls Updated: Oct 05, 2018 18:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rajnath Singh,HTLS 2018,hindustan leadership summit
Union minister for home affairs Rajnath Singh speaks at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit at Taj Palace in New Delhi, on October 5, 2018.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

Muslims in India should be complimented for not letting radicalisation spread in the country despite consistent efforts to brainwash them, Union home minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday while castigating Pakistan for not desisting from its “evil designs” in the context of Kashmir.

Speaking at the 16th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, Singh called terrorism a “crime against humanity” and said it was not linked to any religion or caste.

“Even Islamic nations have condemned terrorism. Pakistan should take efforts to stop terrorism. I must compliment Muslims in India that they have not allowed radicalisation to spread in the country,” Singh said.

The home minister said the situation in Kashmir will improve, but expressed dismay that Pakistan was still indulging in cross-border terror. “Not one, but every prime minister has tried to improve the relationship with Pakistan,” Singh said. “But Pakistan is continuing to infiltrate terrorists into India. This is a reality.”

He said that the general situation in Kashmir is better than it was a year ago, and pointed out that terror-related incidents have come down from 6,000 in 1995 to 360-odd incidents in 2017. His comments come at a time when the Opposition has blamed the government for a spurt in violence in the region in recent months.

The home minister said he has told security persons not to fire the first bullet, but if there was any provocation from Pakistan, then the jawans should not count the number of bullets in retaliatory action.

He said there is an “amazing” coordination between the army, central paramilitary forces and the J&K Police in the state and about 700 terrorists have been neutralised over the last four years.

The government, he said, has launched a pilot project in Jammu & Kashmir and Assam to replicate an Israel-type border management system that will use the latest technology and resources to make India’s coastline and borders breach-proof. “The Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System will be operated through a command centre and every activity on the borders can be monitored from one place,” Singh said. “This is a huge development.”

The former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president admitted that the alliance with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of Mehbooba Mufti was “not successful”, but maintained it was the need of the hour after the 2014 assembly elections returned a hung verdict.

“The PDP emerged as the number one party and the BJP was the second-largest party. We thought we should respect the mandate,” Singh said. “That experiment was not successful.” The BJP pulled out of the government in June and the state is now under Governor’s Rule.

Singh also said that there has been a 50% decline in Maoist-related activities in the last four years and the major activities of the Maoists have been restricted to 10-15 districts. “They are now trying to move into urban areas.”

He defended the criticism of the government after five activists were arrested in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence in January, and said that the Supreme Court allowed the Maharashtra police conduct the probe as it wanted to. “We have said you may be influenced by any ideology but you cannot be allowed to indulge in violence. You will not be allowed to do that,” Singh said.

The home minister also expressed optimism that a framework agreement with insurgents in Nagaland will be stitched and claimed there was some forward movement in it.

Speaking on farmer agitations in different parts of the country, he said the government was committed to solving the issues faced by farmers, and those who staged a protest at the Uttar Pradesh-Delhi border last week have returned following the promise that the government will look into their demands – which range from higher minimum support prices to overturning the ban on 10-year-old diesel vehicles.

“There is a crisis of credibility in politics today. We have taken it up as a challenge. We will not let this crisis of credibility to deepen,” Singh said. “If we have promised something, then the protesters know we are honest in our commitment.”

First Published: Oct 05, 2018 17:00 IST

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