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Won’t allow migration of minorities from J&K, says Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with J&K Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha during the 200th anniversary celebrations of coronation of Maharaja Gulab Singh, in Jammu, Friday, June 17, 2022.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with J&K Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha during the 200th anniversary celebrations of coronation of Maharaja Gulab Singh, in Jammu, Friday, June 17, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who concluded his two-day visit of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, said no forcible migration of minorities would be allowed anymore and hinted at Assembly election later this year in the Union Territory.

“We have witnessed a migration of minorities in the past. Whether Hindus or Christians, such forcible migration won’t be allowed at any cost now,” Mr. Singh, who was speaking at a function in Jammu to commemorate the 200th year of the coronation of Dogra ruler Maharaja Gulab Singh, said.

Mr. Singh blamed Pakistan for the recent targeted killings in Kashmir, which have left nine persons dead, including members of the minority communities and non-locals.

“Our neighbour is playing a crucial role in sowing the seed of hatred here. From the tribal raid of 1947-48 to the recent targeted killings, these are all foreign conspiracies. We need to defeat this conspiracy. The future of J&K has to be shaped by its people. The neighbouring country cannot digest the fact that India is rising,” Mr. Singh said.  

Without mentioning any role of Muslim leaders in J&K, Mr. Singh said, “The rulers from Ranjit Singh to Gulab Singh and Prem Nath Dogra worked for the unity of people in J&K. They are the role models under whom Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists worked together.”

The Defence Minister appealed to people of J&K “to maintain the social fabric and think above the religious lines”.

“There are forces who are trying to damage the fabric and make efforts to radicalise locals,” Mr. Singh said.

He also referred to the inflammatory speeches and communal clashes in the Chenab Valley’s Bhaderwah, in the wake of remarks made by now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma about Prophet Muhammed. 

“What happened in Bhaderwah recently is against the local culture. No state can move ahead by sowing hatred between communities,” Mr. Singh said.

The Union minister said the BJP government, since 2014, had pledged to resolve Kashmir problems and under Union Home Minister Amit Shah the process had gained pace. “I see a major role for J&K and Ladakh in new India,” he added. The Minister hinted at holding Assembly election in J&K later this year. “The J&K Delimitation Commission has completed its report recently. It has brought changes. Earlier, there were 83 Assembly seats, 37 in Jammu and 46 in Kashmir. Now, there will likely be 47 seats in Kashmir and 43 in Jammu out of 90 seats,” Mr. Singh said. 

Visit to forward areas

During his two-visit to J&K, Mr. Singh visited the forward areas on Thursday and “undertook a first-hand assessment of the situation in the formations looking after Line of Control (LoC) and forward areas in north Kashmir”.  He was accompanied by Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande; General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GoC-in-C), Northern Command Lt. Gen. Upendra Dwivedi; GoC, 15 Corps Lt. Gen. A.S. Aujla and GoC, 19 Infantry Division Maj. Gen. Ajay Chandpuria. The Defence minister was briefed on the existing ceasefire agreement on the LoC, counter infiltration grid, operational preparedness and Army-citizen connection in the border areas.  On Friday, Northern Army Commander Lt. Gen. Upendra Dwivedi also reviewed the security situation along the LoC.   “While appreciating the current state of peace prevailing along the LoC, he cautioned all commanders and troops to not let their guard down and to remain prepared to meet any emerging security challenges effectively,” an Army spokesman said.


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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 6:56:38 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/wont-allow-migration-of-minorities-from-jk-says-rajnath-singh/article65537759.ece