Vested Interests Behind J&K Agitation to Destabilise PDP-BJP Govt: MoS PMO
Jammu & Kashmir has been on the boil in recent times with violence erupting in Handwara and on the NIT campus in Srinagar. In an interview with Aman Sharma, MoS PMO and Udhampur MP Jitendra Singh points to a conspiracy by vested interests behind the recent troubles in J&K to destabilise the newly-formed PDP-BJP government and terms lathi-charge on NIT students as wrongs. Excerpts:
The Prime Minister in J&K asked for bridging the gap between Jammu & Srinagar as per Mufti Mohd Sayeed’s vision. What is the way forward to do that? The PM right from day one has given very high priority to J&K, which he believes should come at par with rest of the states in development. He has made multiple visits there — it shows the level of sensitivity he accords to J&K. It is our desire also of us MPs that as the entire country is moving forward on a journey of development at a rapid pace under Modi, J&K should not remain deprived of it.
But how to avoid incidents like in Handwara? 5 civilians have died. It has to be more of mutual trust and we have to guard against those who are motivated to create conflict situation through rumour mongering or mischief. There are some vested interests which are not comfortable with normalcy being restored in J&K and there are also vested interests which may like to destabilise a coalition government which has come into being with due mandate from people and is comprising of the two political parties which had the largest mandate. Therefore, we have to educate people not to get carried away by romour mongers, mischief makers and vested interests. There have been instances where it was noticed that vested interests have been at play in the Valley.
The other incident that rocked the newly-formed J&K government was in the NIT Srinagar. Could the state government have handled the NIT issue better? I would not like to comment on the state government but certainly, individually, I am against the use of force against students which I believe should be the last resort and certain- ly not an option where the students are on a peaceful protest. Therefore, I believe that the use of force could have been avoided. But now whatever happened, after that, we have managed to engage students and tried to address their grievances and apprehensions to a great extent. At the end of the day - I have also sat down with these students – it is important to ensure that they should feel mentally and physically secure in the campus so that they can concentrate on their studies. Also, their academic career should not suffer adversely due to the turn of events.