New Delhi: Promising a fitting reply to elements calling for a “break-up” of India, home minister Amit Shah on Monday said the children of as many as 130 separatist leaders in Kashmir are studying or have studied abroad even as these leaders issue calls to shut down schools and colleges in the valley.
Shah said separatists have no qualms over inciting Kashmiri youth to stone-pelting and warned that they will receive no quarter even as he emphasised that the Centre has worked to re-open schools and health facilities under President’s rule. “We will win hearts of people in Kashmir… They will embrace us,” he said while replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on a resolution to extend President’s rule by six months.
The Upper House unanimously approved extension of President’s Rule and the Jammu and Kashmir (Reservation) Amendment Bill to provide quota benefits to persons residing in areas adjoining international border- just those who live adjoining Line of Control (LoC). The Lok Sabha has passed both bills.
While stating that those working against India “will be given an appropriate response in their language” Shah underscored that the government’s commitment to the policy of ‘ Jamhooriyat, Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat’ should not be taken to mean that the forces who want to divide India will be spared.
The home minister also responded to the divisive debate over Jawaharlal Nehru and decisions on Jammu and Kashmir, saying that while he did want to lower the prestige of India’s first Prime Minister, but history would treat the post-Independence blunders very harshly.
He stressed that a country that doesn’t learn from its mistakes doesn’t end up too well. He also insisted that faulting Nehru’s decisions did not imply that he was questioning his intentions. “Congress must answer for the historical blunders done by them: Why did Nehru government go to the UN despite Kashmir’s accession to India? Why did he agree for a plebiscite that is in any case out of question today?” he asked.
“How many schools have been shut down and burnt; teachers killed and studies discontinued at schools in the name of boycott… There is one leader whose son has studied and is working at a salary of Rs 30 lakh per month in Saudi Arabia. Another leader’s son has studied in London and is now a doctor in Saudi Arabia. Two sons of Asiya Andrabi (arrested separatist leader in J&K terror funding case) have studied abroad and her third son is pursuing higher education in Malaysia and here she says school should remain shut,” Shah said.
The home minister appealed Kashmiri youth to see through the design of such people who are trying to mislead them. “Please check that their own children are studying abroad and are living a good life there. Don’t get misled and take to stone-pelting,” he said.
Shah’s tough talk comes amid reports of separatists leaders are keen to hold talks with the government and should indicate that the government is in no mood to engage with the Hurriyat at present.
The home minister said that the traditional approach to resolve the Kashmir issue has not worked and there was a need for a fresh approach where no region – Jammu and Ladakh – gets left behind. He also cited how government has cracked down on terror funding and there has been 40 arrests and 137 challans in such cases.
Responding to charges of opposition that government was bypassing scrutiny of Bills by parliamentary panels, Shah cited that during UPA-I, 207 out of 248 bills introduced in Parliament did not go to any parliamentary panel and during UPA-II their number was 125 out of total 180 Bills. He said, in contrast, 124 out of the 180 bills introduced during Modi 1.0 were referred to these committees. (ToI)