Lucknow: Voicing concern over the release of top Lashkar leader Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said India wants talks with Pakistan but the release of the Mumbai attack mastermind is an “unfortunate and disappointing” development.

“India wants talks with Pakistan but the present development (release of Lakhvi) is unfortunate and disappointing,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

Singh was reacting to the Lahore High Court’s judgement yesterday suspending the detention of 55-year-old Lakhvi under Maintenance of Public Order after the Pakistan government failed to present sensitive records against him in the court.

Asked about alliance partners PDP-BJP in Jammu and Kashmir speaking in different voices on composite townships for settlement of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley, Singh said, “An agreement has been reached with Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in this regard.”

On the killing of five undertrials, who were allegedly associated with SIMI and other radical groups, in police custody in Nalgonda district in Telangana, he evaded giving a direct reply, saying, the matter was a state subject.

Asked about losses to farmers due to hailstorms and rains, Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already taken an initiative in this regard.

“Modi has asked Central ministers to visit affected areas to ascertain losses. Our government is serious,” he said.

Singh said the state government should whole-heartedly help the farmers and appealed to them not to feel dejected and commit suicide.

“The Centre has hiked the compensation amount. Relief amount will be issued to states as soon as reports of losses are received by the Centre from the team sent for the purpose,” he said.

Earlier, Singh met a number of delegations at his residence here and heard various issues highlighted by them.

Singh met a delegation of aspirants of UPPCS preliminary examination and told them that he has talked to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav about the paper leak issue, who has promised to get the matter probed, party spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.

 In their memorandum to the Home Minister, the aspirants demanded a CBI probe in all the appointments made after 2012, cancellation of both papers of PCS pre-2015 and and a clarification by the state government on charges against UP Public Service Commission (UPPSC) Chairman Anil Kumar Yadav.

 The first paper of the UPPCS preliminary examination was leaked on March 29 on WhatsApp messenger here, triggering violent protests at several places in the state after which the first paper was cancelled.

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