Srinagar: To counter the simmering pro-freedom protests, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come up with a plan: provide jobs to Kashmir’s youth in government forces.
In the BJP huddle of last month, during which party president Amit Shah and general secretary Ram Madhav held meetings with the party’s JK chapter leaders in Jammu, the thing which came out was to talk to all ‘stake holders’, and engage the pro-freedom protests held by youths by providing jobs in the army, police and other paramilitary forces.
The BJP president has already ruled out talks with the pro-freedom groups, while Ram Madhav has stated no talks can be held with those who do not believe in India.
Sources said the BJP government in Delhi has asked Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, during her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders, to focus on developmental activities and engage pro-freedom groups at the local level.
When asked to identify the stake holders, other than the pro-freedom political groups, with whom talks should be held for normalizing the situation on the street, the BJP leaders said they include various groups like Shias, Gujjars, traders and so on.
Another 2,000 SPOs to be recruited
PMO sponsored Mudra Bank will be disbursing Rs 25,000 each to youth who want to establish small entrepreneur units
One battalion each in all the forces operating in Kashmir will be raised
“They are the real stakeholders we need to engage with. We will listen to their grievances and address them,” the BJP’s long-time associate and leader since the mid-1990’s, who currently holds a chair in the legislative council, Mohammad Yousuf Sofi told Kashmir Reader.
“The Hurriyat is just playing with the emotions of people, mostly youth. And the BJP is in no mood to talk to them. They instigate people. And we have decided this BJP government should take steps to engage the youth, not the Hurriyat to end protests in Kashmir.”
He said that the BJP had discussed pro-youth plans, which will bring them from the “chaos of unemployment”, and “will thus end protests”.
“We have decided to raise one battalion each in all the forces operating in Kashmir. This includes police, army, CRPF, BSF. Besides we will raise one woman battalion,” the BJP leader said.
He said that the government has so far employed 8,000 Special Police Officers (SPOs), and now the home ministry has sent an approval for another 2,000.
“Soon they will be employed in the government,” Sofi said. “We believe that unemployment is the main cause of protests in Kashmir. The previous governments were corrupt.”
Besides, he said, the Prime Minister’s Office-sponsored Mudra Bank will be disbursing Rs 25,000 each to youth who want to establish small entrepreneur units to sustain themselves.
“We have again started Udaan scheme through which we adjusted over 6,000 youth in jobs across India. We have also given centrally-sponsored student scholarship schemes to 35,000 people,” Sofi said.
He said the BJP will be focusing on development rather than indulging in politics to “exploit the youth for vested interests”.
“More youth-oriented programmes are in the offing,” the BJP leader added.
The pro-freedom demonstration has rocked Kashmir for the last one month. Of late, students in their uniforms have been staging demonstrations across Kashmir, which has forced the authorities to shut down a few schools and colleges. The authorities have also shut down internet services and blocked social media sites to end the raging demonstrations in Kashmir.