India may act tough with Kashmir separatists, withdraw passports, whittle down security
The Indian government is miffed they refused to meet with the all-party delegation visiting from New Delhi. In photo: Hurriyat chairman and hard-line separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
India may harden its attitude towards separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, making their foreign travel difficult and scaling down the security which they enjoy at the exchequer's cost.
Miffed over the cold shoulder treatment given by separatists to the MPs, who were part of the all-party delegation that visited the state, the ruling government is considering moves to curb their foreign travel by withdrawing their passports and denying travel documents in some cases.
Besides these, the government will also scrutinise their bank accounts and complete pending investigations in cases against them so a strong message goes around that those provoking youths in Kashmir Valley to create disturbance since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8 will not be spared, government sources said.
The interior ministry's tough stand came apparently after the nod from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is said to have conveyed that time has come to act tough with the separatists, sources said.
The snub by the Hurriyat leaders who refused to meet some members of the all-party delegation, has upset the government to the extent of India's interior minister Rajnath Singh saying that such behaviour was neither 'Kashmiriyat' nor 'Insaniyat'.
Communist Party of India (Marxist)'s Sitaram Yechury, Sharad Yadav of Janata Dal (United), Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav of Rashtriya Janata Dal, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen's Asaduddin Owaisi and D Raja of Communist Party of India had gone to meet Hurriyat leaders.
Sources said there was a feeling in the government that lack of governance was a major concern for Jammu and Kashmir and this needs to be addressed.
The ruling government feels that the state government is treating separatists with kid gloves and have to be tough against them, they said, claiming students, parents and the middle class were getting restless and wanted the cycle of violence to end.
The final decision on these issues, however, will be taken after the all-party delegation, which visited the troubled state, meets here tomorrow and consultations at the highest level of the government, sources said.