Will end Naxalism in north-east by 2022, says Rajnath Singh

Time & Us
Last Updated: November 11, 2017 at 9:10 pm

Lucknow: The Maoist insurgency and militancy in the north-east will be “over” by 2022, Union home minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday, citing gains that have been made in the three-and-a-half years since the Narendra Modi government came to power.

Speaking at Hindustan’s Shikhar Samagam programme in Lucknow, Singh said “all possible” efforts were also being made to resolve the Kashmir issue.

“There was let-up in naxalism in the country roughly by 55% and in insurgency in the north-east by 75% during last three-and-a-half years,” he said, adding the government had been able to achieve this largely with the cooperation by local people.

The home minister also spoke on demonetisation, vigilantism by so-called cow protection groups and terrorism.

“There are examples in the world that show short-term pain results in long-term gain,” he said referring to November 2016’s note ban and the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax regime this year.

The GST and the note ban exercise are regarded as factors behind a drastic slowdown in the country’s economy in recent quarters.

Singh said demonetisation – the scrapping of the old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 bank notes – achieved its objective to a large extent as far as checking fake currency and terror funding in Kasmmir were concerned.

He said the situation in Kashmir improved significantly since the Modi government came to power at the Centre, and added the government wanted to solve the Kashmir issue by instilling a sense of confidence and not fear among the region’s people.

Replying to a question during the interaction session, he said Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had assured the Centre of taking appropriate steps for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits.

On cow protection groups who have often been behind brutal assault and even killings, Singh said nobody would be allowed to take law into his hand. “When complaints were received about gaurakshaks, we issued advisory to all chief ministers to take a stern action against anyone who took law into his hand in the name of cow protection,” he said.

Replying to a question on Islamic terrorism in India, he reiterated that radicalisation of Muslims was insignificant in India as compared to most other Muslim-dominant countries. “And its credit goes to the followers of Islam in India,” he added. He denied there was any increased threat to the country from the Islamic State group.

About the continuing smog in Delhi and NCR, the home minister said pollution is a global crisis and the government had taken it as a challenge and would do everything to tackle the problem