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Home Minister Rajnath reaches Srinagar with an ‘open mind’

Statesman News Service | Jammu |

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday arrived in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, for his four-day visit to meet people across section of the society to find a solution to the problem in the valley and also review the militancy related situation in the state.

Before flying to Srinagar from Delhi, Rajnath set the tone by tweeting “I am going there with an open mind and I am willing to meet anyone who will help us in finding solutions to problems facing J&K.”

Immediately after landing at the heavily guarded airport, Rajnath drove straight to meet the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

He will also meet the Governor NN Vohra to discuss the situation in the state.

He is accompanied by the Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and other senior officers of the ministry. Rajnath will spend two days in Kashmir and equal time in Jammu where he is expected to visit the border district of Rajouri that was witnessing lot of loss of life and property due to shelling by Pakistan.

He is scheduled to review implementation of the Rs 80,000 crore package for J&K announced by Prime Minister Narendera Modi in 2015.

Leader of the opposition and former chief minister, Omar Abdullah, welcomed Rajnath through a tweet reminding him of Modi’s Independence Day speech and hoped that it will be followed through.

Rajnath is also scheduled to visit Khanabal (Anantnag) in the South Kashmir and interact with CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) and police personnel.

South Kashmir is the worst affected area and the security forces have launched the “Operation All Out” to eliminate terror . Several top terrorist leaders of various outfits have been eliminated in encounters.

Rajnath’s visit to J&K has come in the wake of Modi’s 15 August speech in which he stressed that the unrest in Kashmir can be resolved only by embracing the Kashmiris and not through bullets or abuses.

Also read: Centre focusing on creating more jobs in J-K: Rajnath Singh

Home Minister’s visit to the state comes at time when the issue of the Article 35-A has seen intense upheaval in the region, as the Jammu and the valley region is divided on scrapping of the Constitutional provision.

The issue is expected to come up when he meets various sections, including students, in Srinagar.

Minutes before Rajnath landed in Srinagar, Pakistani troops started indiscriminate shelling at four places in the Poonch district of Jammu. A terrorist was also killed in an encounter in Sopore of North Kashmir. The minister is likely to be briefed by officers also about the situation on the borders and attempts of Pakistan to push newly trained terrorists into India.