Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said tough action was taken against the separatists after they “failed” to respond to the olive branch extended by the Centre to them over the past four years.
He assured protection to Kashmiri students outside the state and said advisory has been given to all the states to ensure their protection, while BJP workers were also directed to stand by them if they faced any problems in any part of the country.
“There is a talk that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is taking a stern action against separatists in Kashmir. We have banned some organisations, and I want to say that if there is a need, more strict action will be taken against them,” Singh said addressing an election rally in support of party candidate Jugal Kishore from Jammu parliamentary constituency.
He said the Centre tried to reach out to the separatists and invited them for talks, but they paid no heed.
“Over the past four years, we repeatedly offered the olive branch and invited them for talks, but nobody turned up and instead efforts continued to strengthen the separatism in the valley,” he said, adding that “we banned some organisations as they left us with no option but to go tough against them”.
The Centre recently banned Jamaat-e-Islami and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) in the valley.
“They (separatists) ruined the state and are giving money to minor boys, aged between 10 and 16 years, for indulging in stone-pelting at the behest of Pakistan and creating passions for separatism.
“We went too far and ordered revoking of cases against these boys to save their future, but it too had no impact on the separatists who continued with their disruptive activities,” he said.
The Home minister said advisory was given to all the states to ensure respect and protection to the Kashmiri students pursuing studies outside the valley.
Attacking the Congress for denying credit to Modi for taking actions against terrorists inside Pakistan, he asked why should not the prime minister be given credit for the actions.
“Our opponents say why Modi should be given credit for the actions of our brave security forces against terrorists inside Pakistan.
“Modi had never sought credit, but I want to ask the Congress people when Indira Gandhi divided Pakistan into two, leading to the creation of Bangladesh, our senior leader and former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee praised her and she was given full credit for it,” Singh said. PTI