'Kashmir freedom struggle is farce': Union minister Jitendra Singh says vested interests back 'mercenary movement' in Valley
Terming as farce Pakistan's oft-repeated claim that a 'freedom movement' was on in Kashmir, Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Friday said it is a 'manufactured struggle' and a 'mercenary movement' that has graduated into an industry.
Jammu: Terming as farce Pakistan's oft-repeated claim that a "freedom movement" was on in Kashmir, Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Friday said it is a "manufactured struggle" and a "mercenary movement" that has graduated into an industry.
He said the youths in the Valley have now understood the nefarious designs of the elements, who have been using them as "sacrificial goat" while their own children are lodged in safe havens.
"There is no such thing like freedom struggle at all in Kashmir. It is a farce. It is a manufactured freedom struggle.
"It is a mercenary movement, which has gradually graduated into an industry now, in which there are huge vested interests involved and such people carry out mayhem in the name of freedom struggle," Singh, who is Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region, told reporters on Friday.
He was replying to a question about Pakistan's claim of "freedom movement" in Kashmir.
The minister said the realisation that they were being exploited in the name of struggle has dawned upon the youths and cited the example of a "leading" militant commander being nabbed with the assistance of a woman.
"She was among the young women who were being exploited by these militant commanders in Kashmir," he said.
"The youths of Kashmir have understood that those who are exploiting them have their children lodged in the safe havens of the country and the world and are using them as the sacrificial goat," he added.
"There is a lot of awakening in a large section of youths and they wish to be part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's developmental journey in the country," he added.
"They want to avail the opportunities available to the youths in other parts of the country. They don't want to miss this bus. They want to be part of this journey," Singh, who is also minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office, said.
On the violence in connection with alleged braid chopping incidents, the minister said that there was not a single case with substantial evidence.
"There can be mischief behind this... the right thinking citizens will condemn this. We should not jump to conclusion without having any evidence.
"We live in evidence-based era. We should not allow it to become a tool for certain politicians or separatists," the Union minister said.
Asked about terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control, he said that Pakistan carries out infiltration activities every year.
"Out of 50-60 infiltration bids, 45-50 infiltration bids have been foiled. This speaks about the efficiency and increase in capability of security forces," he said.
The minister said that Jammu and Kashmir police has also come of age, particularly its special operations group.
Many of the terrorists have either been nabbed or liquidated with minimum collateral damage possible. "It is a compliment to police and security forces in Jammu and Kashmir," he said
About the reported diktat by a Muslim organisation that boys and girls should not study together, he said, "Without getting into the discussion, I can say that in India of 2017, boys and girls can decide for themselves".
"I have already said that they are part of the aspirational movement of Modi's new India and therefore they cannot be subjected to any gender bias," he said.
At least three others, including a policeman, were injured in the attack. Security forces have cordoned off the area and further details are awaited, officials said.
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