JAMMU / KATRA, Jan 12: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said here today that certain vested interests do not want the militancy to end in Kashmir. Over the last 25 years, he said, militancy has developed as an industry and the beneficiaries of it thrive in its continuation, but what is more worrisome is that some of the so – called mainstream political activists and political groups have also learnt to sustain their political relevance in an atmosphere of instability and disturbance resulting from continued militancy.
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Soon after his arrival from the Union capital this morning and before leaving for Katra to attend the Reasi district administration meeting, Dr Jitendra Singh was responding to queries by media persons about militant threats against those who participate in the forthcoming Panchayat elections in the State.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, those who oppose the Panchayat elections are, in fact, scared of grass-root democracy flourishing in the State because that will mark an end of the game for the self-styled and un-elected leaders from the so called separatist lobby, as well as some of the so – called mainstream leaders who have mastered the art of getting themselves elected with a meager vote percentage in the shadow of militancy.
In response to another query, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Modi Government is very liberal in providing all kinds of financial and other assistance to J&K, as also to other peripheral States of Northeast. He said, it is the personal intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which has given impetus to all the Centrally sponsored developmental projects in these regions. However, he hoped that the State Government will take maximum advantage of this liberal Central assistance and also expedite the work on different projects.
When asked about certain statements made by political activists seeking to glorify the militants, Dr Jitendra Singh said, all this has no relevance because as far as the Modi Government is concerned, its approach towards Jammu & Kashmir is clear, consistent and based on conviction of zero tolerance towards terrorism. The Government, he said, will continue to chase the militants as well as their perpetrators and sponsors, and the action initiated against militants in the Valley will continue, regardless of some stray statements which are made by individuals in a vain bid to appease a certain constituency.
What is heartening, Dr Jitendra Singh said, is that the youth of Kashmir has moved ahead and strongly aspires to be a part of the development journey led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, While 18 to19 young boys and girls have qualified for IIT from the terror-struck districts of Kashmir valley, similarly, for the last few years, each year, there is a topper in the Civil Services / IAS Exam from the Kashmir valley. This itself is a strong indicator that youth of Kashmir, like the youth in other parts of the country, comprising nearly 75% of the population, do not wish to miss the opportunities made available to them in the last three years and they have made up their mind to realize their dreams even though a handful of self-righteous individuals may continue to bat for militancy for their own vested interests.
Later, at Katra, Dr Jitendra Singh presided over a district meeting which was attended by MoS Finance Ajay Nanda, DC Reasi Prasanna Ramaswamy, senior officers of different departments and representatives of civil society. At the meeting, Dr Jitendra Singh laid down timeline for each of the major projects and schemes to be completed in the district and also directed the District administration to engage in regular interaction with the local public representatives.
The issues discussed in the meeting included delay in completion of some of the PMGSY and Central CRF road projects, expediting the pace of the water supply scheme and maintenance of sanitation and cleanliness of the Katra town area.