Srinagar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that it is for the first time that army owned up the mistake of gunning down two innocent youth in a press conference and action has been taken against those who opened fire.
“Anyone makes a mistake…for the first time in 30 years, it is the Modi government’s wonder, that army admitted at a press conference that the killing of two youth (at Chattergam in Budgam district) was a mistake.
“An inquiry commission probed the matter and those who fired the bullets were slapped with charges. This is the proof of my good intentions. This has not happened in 30 years. I have come to provide justice to you,” Modi said in his maiden election rally in the Valley here.
Two youth were killed and two others injured in army firing at Chattergam on November 3, an incident that sparked protests at many places in Kashmir.
The Prime Minister said every child was dear to her mother and the nation felt the pain when anyone got killed. “Every mother’s son is dear to her. Every mother’s son’s blood is priceless. Anyone getting killed, the pain is felt by the country as much as the mother feels it,” he said.
The Prime Minister said 33,000 policemen sacrificed their lives in the line of duty since independence to ensure that their fellow countrymen can lead better lives.
“When the floods struck (Kashmir), the army soldiers served the people. While saving the people, the army personnel died. To protect the people at the risk of their lives has been our mantra,” Modi said. He said while army and police personnel have laid down their lives in Kashmir while protecting the country, some innocent people were also killed, which was an irreparable loss. “In Kashmir, army soldiers have died, police personnel have also been martyred but children of innocent families have also been killed. “This is not a small loss. No words can undo this loss but the sorrow is lessened by sharing. As the ‘pradhan sevak’ of the country, your sorrow is my sorrow, your pain is my pain and your tragedy is my tragedy,” he added.
Invoking Vajpayee’s famous 2003 speech at the same venue, Modi said,”Vajpayee made a good beginning. I have come to carry this forward. It is my duty to carry forward and fulfil his dreams of Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat and Jamhooriyat (democracy) which are the three pillars that can turn around Kashmir in the 21st century on the path of development.”
“People of Kashmir have given me a lot of trust and love. I will repay this love and trust with interest in the form of development. I can die for this love and trust showered on me,” he said in his first election meeting in the Valley, that avoided any mention of controversial issues like abrogation of Article 370.
In his 30 minutes speech, Modi used the opportunity to attack the “all pervasive” corruption under successive governments of “Congress, father-son and father-daughter” in the last 30 years and asked the people to give him “one chance” to bring development.
Wearing a traditional Kashmiri ‘Pheran’, Modi sought to strike a chord with the people saying,”I as Pradhan Sevak have come to share your pain and anguish. Your sorrow is my sorrow, your pain is my pain, your problem is my problem. I have not come to take anything.”
He said terrorism may be over but not corruption. “I want to eliminate corruption. Unless it is eradicated, the ordinary people’s lives will not become any better,” he said. Giving an example of corruption in the state, Modi said that when he met families of flood hit victims during Diwali, they said money should not be given to the state government but rather transferred directly into their accounts.
“This shows they did not trust their own state Government but Modi in whom they showed so much faith,” he said. The Prime Minister said he has been visiting Kashmir ever since July and would again be coming in 2015. Modi said it is tourism and hydro-electric potential of the state which can change its face. “Tourism can give employment to even a pea-nut seller…We can open up new destinations for tourism so that people who have visited the state can come again. This can be achieved by small measures of infrastructure at lesser known places,” he said.
Modi said Kashmir has the potential to light up the entire country. “Small hydro-electric plants will give employment opportunities to youth of the state and allow them to lead a life of dignity.” (Source- www.newsroompost.com)