Amit Shah
Amit Shah

NEW DELHI — Sending a tough message, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said that no family member of any militant nor close relatives of stone pelters will get government jobs in Jammu and Kashmir.

Shah also said that the Narendra Modi government has not only targeted militants but also eliminated their ecosystem, resulting in a drastic fall in militancy incidents in the country.

“In Kashmir, we have taken a decision that if someone joins a terrorist organisation, their family members will not get any government job,” he told PTI in an interview over the weekend.

Similarly, Shah said, if someone indulges in stone pelting, his family members will also not get a government job.

He said some human rights activists went to the Supreme Court against the decision but, at the end, the government prevailed.

The home minister, however, said the government will make an exception in case someone from a family comes forward and informs the authorities that his or her close relative has joined a militant outfit. Such families will be given relief, he said.

Earlier, funeral processions used to be taken out in Kashmir after a militant was killed, Shah said. “We have stopped this trend. We have ensured that the terrorist is buried with all religious formalities but in an isolated place,” he said.

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The home minister said when a militant is surrounded by the security forces, he is first given a chance to surrender. “We call family members like his mother or wife and ask them to make an appeal to the terrorist to surrender. If he (the terrorist) does not listen, he dies,” Shah said.

The home minister said militancy incidents have gone down significantly in Jammu and Kashmir as the government has not only targeted the militants but also eliminated their ecosystem. “Through the NIA (National Investigation Agency), we have taken strong action against terror funding and ended it. We have taken a very tough stand on terror funding,” he said.

In the case of the banned Popular Front of India (PFI), Shah said the government has imposed a ban on the publication and spread of the militant ideology by it.

Muslim radical group PFI, founded in Kerala, was banned under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) by the Centre in September 2022 over its alleged links with terror activities.

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In the case of Amritpal Singh, an alleged pro-Khalistani separatist, “we have put him in jail under the NSA (National Security Act),” he said.

Singh, the chief of the radical Sikh separatist group ‘Waris Punjab De’, was arrested in April 2023 in Punjab under the stringent NSA and subsequently shifted to Assam where he is lodged in Dibrugarh jail. He recently filed nomination papers from the jail to contest the Lok Sabha election from Punjab’s Khadoor Sahib seat.

According to Union home ministry data, there were 228 militancy-initiated incidents in Jammu and Kashmir in 2018 and the number came down to around 50 in 2023.

There were 189 encounters between security forces and militants in 2018 and it came down to around 40 in 2023. As many as 55 civilians were killed due to various terror incidents in 2018. The number came down to around five in 2023.

In 2018, a total of 91 security personnel were killed in militant violence in Jammu and Kashmir, with the figure declining to around 15 in 2023.

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