Rajnath Singh appeals Kashmiris to stay away from gunfight sites

Srinagar: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday appealed the people of Kashmir, particularly youth to stay away from gunfight sites during counter-terrorism operations to avoid loss of civilian lives. He also urged the people to participate with fervour in forthcoming Panchayati elections to strengthen democracy and governance at the grassroots level.

Singh was addressing a press conference in Srinagar after concluding his day-long visit to Jammu and Kashmir. The Home Minister complimented people of the State for participation in the Municipal Elections. He appealed to all those political parties to participate in Panchayati elections.

Rajnath Singh reviewed the overall security situation in the Valley and also at LoC and borders with neighbouring country Pakistan at a high-level meeting in Srinagar.

He also said that Jammu and Kashmir could not become a developed state due to corruption at several levels. The state government has chalked out an ‘Action Plan’ to take strong action against corruption. It will soon announce certain measures to curb corruption in J&K.

On Sunday, seven civilians were killed in a blast at an encounter site in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district where three militants were also killed.

Addressing a news conference at Nehru Guest House in Srinagar, Singh also announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to the next of kin of seven civilians killed in Kulgam blast.

He also appealed to the political parties to participate in upcoming Panchayat polls.

Two main regional parties, National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party boycotted the urban local bodies polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

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