Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today hit out at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for his comments on Kashmir made at an event in the US, saying national issues should not be politicised. He countered Rahul’s contention that terrorism in Kashmir had increased under the Modi government by reminding him of the situation which existed in the Valley in 1989 as well as 7-8 years back.
“National issues should not be politicised… We cannot forget about 1989 (when militancy in Kashmir started). What was the situation then? What was the situation 7-8 years ago? I don’t blame anybody,” Singh told reporters.
He was replying to Rahul’s remarks made at a university event in the US that the previous Congress-led government had broken the back of terrorism in Kashmir and accused the Modi dispensation of “massively opening up space” for terrorists.
“Why has the situation never been peaceful (in Kashmir) since 1947? I don’t want blame anybody,” the home minister said.
He was also asked to comment on reports that an MLA of Jammu and Kashmir had allegedly taken money from Pakistan, purportedly according to the NIA.
In his response, Singh said, “the NIA is an autonomous agency. They are doing their work. Let us allow them to work. The government should not raise a question mark on the working of such an organization, which is such autonomous.”
About problems related to scholarships for Kashmiri students, the home minister said 2-3 students had come to him with complaints in this regard and after a few days, their complaints were resolved after meeting the officials of HRD ministry. For addressing the problem, a nodal officer has been appointed, he said.
“Till now, 1200 complaints from such students have been received by us and nine complaints have been addressed,” he added. On the demand for elections to panchayats and local bodies, Singh said polls should take place. He said he had talked to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in this regard.
To a question about incidents taking place in schools, like the murder of a 7-year-old student in Ryan International in Gurgaon, he said, “whatever has happened, is condemnable. But I think that law and order is a state subject. It is state government which has to think over it, how to provide security to children.”
For the Centre’s part, he said from time to time, advisories are sent to the state governments.