Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said he agreed with Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on the need to use “innovative ways” to fight the “dirty war in Jammu and Kashmir”. “Sometimes it is not possible to answer these questions in a yes or no,” Singh said, according to PTI. “There is a third option as well.”
The home minister said the Bharatiya Janata Party-led administration has a “concrete strategy for a permanent solution in Kashmir”. “We will remove all obstructions in the way to bring peace in Kashmir,” Singh said, according to PTI. Reiterating the Centre’s stand, Singh said the government is willing to “talk to everyone within the framework of constitution.”
Speaking about the threat of militancy in the country, Singh said only two such incidents have been reported in the last two years. “Five operatives of Indian Mujahideen were sentenced to death last year and this has broken their backbone,” he said, according to The Hindu. The minister also claimed that the Islamic State group has not been able to spread its wings in the country. “India has the second largest Muslim population in the world but the Islamic State has not been able to gain foothold here,” Singh added.
The human shield incident took place on April 9 during the bye-election for the Srinagar parliamentary seat. A video of the incident went viral on social media and attracted severe criticism for violation of human rights. In the video, Farooq Ahmad Dar was seen tied to an Army jeep with a note pinned to his chest that read “this would be the fate of stone-pelters”.
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, while referring to the human shield case on May 25, had said that Army officers should be free to take decisions in a war-like zone. Army chief Rawat, too, had defended the officer. “The rules of engagements are there when the adversary comes face-to-face and fights with you,” Rawat had said on May 28. “You fight a dirty war with innovations. As Army chief, my concern is morale of the Army. That is my job.”