Rajnath to visit Kashmir with an ‘open mind’

Home Minister Rajnath Singh is embarking on a four-day visit to Kashmir on Saturday with an “open mind” where he will be meeting anyone who wishes to meet with him.

Singh said the government wants a solution to all the problems of the state, which has witnessed terrorist incidents and violent protests in the recent past.

The Home Minister, who will be accompanied by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and senior officers, would visit Srinagar, Anantnag, Jammu and Rajouri. He would be meeting Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti besides civil society members, leaders of political and social outfits and businessmen.

An official statement said he would also review Rs 80,000 crore Prime Minister’s Development Package and security situation in the state besides interacting with personnel of Jammu and Kashmir Police, CRPF and BSF.

“I am going with an open mind and I am willing to meet all those who come to meet me. We want a resolution to the problems,” Singh told reporters here.

Singh will chair a comprehensive security review meeting on Sunday with the chief minister and the top brass of the Army, CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir police in Srinagar. He is also expected to interact with college students in Srinagar.

On Monday, he will leave for Jammu and visit a BSF camp in Rajouri. In Jammu also, he would meet various stakeholders.

Singh’s visit comes soon after a citizens’ group led by former Finance Minister and BJP leader Yashwant
Sinha released a report on their third visit to the valley in which they said the sense of “dismay and despondency” had grown among the people and the situation was “much worse” than their previous visits.

It had said attempts to “undo” Article 35A of Constitution appears to have added to the “simmering anger” in Kashmir leading to an “increasing distance” between Kashmiris and the rest of India.