Lucknow: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday clarified that operations against militants had not been stopped but only suspended during the holy month of Ramadan.
“It is not ceasefire but a temporary suspension of operations,” he said talking to reporters in Lucknow, the constituency he represents in Parliament. He added that the army is free to respond to any militant attack. “If there is a terrorist attack, the hands of the jawans are not tied,” he said.
On his recent comment on the possibility of talks with Pakistan or the Hurriyat, he said the country has no aversion to dialogue.
Rajnath said that while the number of militants killed in the previous UPA-II government was 471, a total of 619 militants in Jammu and Kashmir had been killed under the Narendra Modi government.
“There has been no compromise on the unity and integrity of the nation and we are proactively pursuing operations against the terrorist groups and subversive elements,” he said, but did not respond to a query on how many security personnel were killed in this period.
Rajnath said that the Government of India had scaled up the ex-gratia sum to slain forces personnel from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore for their families.
“When a jawan attained martyrdom, Rs 50 lakh to Rs 55 lakh used to be given to his family, but now we have decided that the amount should not be less than Rs 1 crore,” he said.
He also said that incursions had decreased during the four years of the Modi government and they had come down by 85 percent in the northeast.
Compared to a high of 2,418 Maoist incidents under the UPA regime, he said, only 1,481 incidents have taken place in the NDA rule. “In 2013, Maoists were active in 76 districts but there area of influence and operations has shrunk to 58 districts in the last four years,” he said.
He said that to secure the country’s boundaries, a new border security system was being started under which lED lights would be installed along with new technique radars on the borders.
“Our crime and criminal tracking network and systems (CCTNS) is winning praise from all over the world,” he said.
Asked about economic offenders leaving the country, the minister said, “I want to ask the Congress people if no one had fled during their government.”