Jammu: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday came down heavily on separatist leaders for refusing to talk to the all-party delegation saying that the Hurriyat leaders don’t believe in democracy.
“Shunning delegation members who have come for talks shows Hurriyat members do not believe in democracy. The behaviour of Hurriyat leaders with delegation members was neither ‘Kashmiriyat’ nor ‘insaniyat’,” Rajnath said.
Claiming that the government is ready to go to any extent to discuss the situation with the Separatists, he said “not only doors but ventilators are also open for talk with them”.
Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav and Communist leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja had on Sunday gone to meet Syed Ali Shah Geelani but the hardline Hurriyat chairman refused to even let them in and the three MPs left after waiting at his door for about ten minutes.
Outside the house, several of Geelani’s supporters massed around and angrily shouted slogans as the MPs’ cars and security vehicles went past. They chanted “Go India, go back” and “We want freedom”. As the MPs landed in Srinagar, more violence erupted across the Kashmir Valley. Police sources said nearly 100 people were injured in clashes between stone-pelting protesters and security forces at various places.
At least 40 people were injured as security forces used shotgun pellets to disperse thousands of protesters in south Kashmir’s Shopian district. A mob of protesters later set ablaze a multi-story sprawling complex of the district administration.
At least 74 persons, including two policemen, have been killed in the weeks of violence. More than 11,500 civilians and security forces have been injured.