Union Minister of state in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Jitendra Singh, said on Saturday that the government’s intent of restoring normalcy in the Kashmir Valley and bringing to book the perpetrators of terrorism is “quite clear”, hours after the NIA carried out raids to track terror funding.
In a pre-dawn swoop, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday raided 23 locations in Kashmir, Haryana and the national capital in connection with a case of alleged funding received by separatist groups for carrying out subversive activities in the Valley.
On queries about Pakistan’s heavy firing along the Line of Control (LoC), the Minister told reporters that the action from the Indian side this time is “much, much more befitting than ever before”.
In yet another ceasefire violation, Pakistan shelled forward posts and civilian areas along the LoC in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, prompting Indian troops to retaliate.
Asked about the outcome of NIA searches, Singh said the people of Kashmir wanted normalcy to be restored. They want to be “part of the development journey” and not be deprived of opportunities available in the other parts of the country.
Keeping with the will of the people of Kashmir, the minister said, “the government has to take the responsibility for ensuring that peace is restored and all the perpetrators of terrorism and disturbance are bought to book.”
On action against the separatists, he said, “I think that it is not for me to answer. The agencies concerned – Ministries of Home Affairs and Defence — take an appropriate view but yes the intent of Modi government is quite clear.”
Without naming anyone, Singh said, with the issue of terror funding coming to light, people of the country have realised “the duplicity of so-called activists, including the self-styled intellectuals”.
He said the decision on who should be searched must be “best left to the professional wisdom” of the security agencies.
On Pakistan attacking civilian areas along the LoC, Singh, who represents Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency in Jammu and Kashmir, said that the neighboring country has a “very poor” human rights record and is even violating them on its soil like in Baluchistan province.
“The epicenter of the most grievous form of human rights violations in the Indian subcontinent is none other than Pakistan,” the minister of state in the prime minister’s office claimed.