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Kashmir Stone Throwing Reduced After Terror Funding Probe: Home Secretary

The Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said that violence levels have come down in Kashmir.

New Delhi:  Hours after Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar said he was satisfied with his management of the violence by Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s followers on Friday, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi too gave the state government a clean chit.

“It was a very live situation. Officers on the ground took a call on how forces which were provided by the centre had to be utilised,” Mr Mehrishi said.

In a wide-ranging interview to NDTV, Mr Mehrishi also spoke about the centre’s concerted efforts to improve the situation in Jammu and Kashmir where he stressed, incidents of stone throwing had declined due to the National Investigation Agency’s crackdown on terror funding.

But in Haryana, the Union Home Secretary stressed the Centre had a rather limited role. According to him, the local police and their supervising officers took a call on how to handle the situation which arose after Ram Rahim’s conviction for rape. The centre had provided the state as many as 200 companies to deal with the law and order situation.

When asked in hindsight if he felt that Haryana failed miserably to handle the situation, the Home Secretary jokingly said wisdom of hindsight not good. “We don’t have a role in law and order directly we just assist the state government and we did the same,” he added.

Mr Mehrishi is hanging his boots on Thursday after his stint as Home Secretary.

On being asked whether his next assignment will take him to the Raj Bhavan in Jammu and Kashmir, he smilingly answered that Governor NN Vohra has not resigned and as far as he is concerned, he would be going to Jaipur. “I want to spend time with my parents now,” he said.

Talking about the recent standoff at Doklam between India and China, the Home Secretary was very clear that the government keeps getting reports about such face-offs often. “These types of stand offs keep happening now and then. Dokalam was also not an extraordinary issue,” he said.

The Home Secretary added that violence levels have come down in Kashmir. “Situation has improved. Violence was result of two factors – one funding and supply of weapons by Pakistan and other is growing radicalisation in state. We have been able to check both,” he said.

When NDTV asked whether stone throwing incidents came down due to overall effort of forces or due to recent arrests made by the National Investigation Agency, the Home Secretary categorically said that  the stone throwers were being funded by Pakistan and now since the flow has been disrupted, the stone pelting and terror related incidents have also come down.

The Home Secretary however denied that centre was providing security to some separatist leaders.

“We have given no security to any separatist leader. If state has provided you have to ask them why and how much… no security or no other facility given to them by centre,” he said.