Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said the government will not do anything regarding Article 35A that would be against the aspirations and wishes of the Kashmiri people. “I feel there is no reason for doubt and confusion on this issue. The centre has not gone to the court in this regard and I want to assure that whatever our government will do, it will not go against the wishes and aspirations of the people,” Singh said while addressing media in Srinagar.
He said it was unfortunate that non-issue was being made an issue.
When asked about the RSS and even state BJP leaders and ministers seeking abrogation of the Article 35A and 370 of the constitution, Singh said: “BJP is a political organisation and I speak as a BJP leader and the Home Minister of the country. Whatever I said on this issue should be taken as final”.
Replying a question on starting a political initiative in the state, the minister said: “I have never counted the number of times I came here. I have always come with an open mind, but people must come forward to talk.”
Asked about the arrests of separatist leaders in the state, the Home Minister said the National Investigation Agency is the premier investigating agency of the country and is acting according to the law of the land, but added that this should not deter those who want to talk to the government.
“Law will take its course, but we are ready to speak to everybody. We have never opposed talks. The all party delegation came here and met everybody, we did not oppose that. I have already said that all stakeholders are welcome and anybody ready to talk to us is welcome,” he asserted.
Asked whether a formal invitation would be extended to the separatists for a dialogue Singh said: “What is formal or informal? We invite everyone. I request your help to restore peace and understand the intentions of the Prime Minister who said Kashmir problem will be resolved by embracing the people of Kashmir and not by ‘Goli'(Bullet) or ‘Gaali’ (Abuses)”.
He said he has directed the security forces and the administration that children who have been misguided and pushed into violence should not be treated as criminals and put into jails.
“Such misguided children should be dealt with according to the juvenile justice system and not locked up in jails. They should be properly counselled and treated with compassion,” he said.