Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that he has directed the ‘security forces’ and the administration that children who have been “misguided and pushed into violence” should not be treated as criminals and put into jails.
“Such misguided children should be dealt with according to the juvenile justice system and not locked up in jails. They should be properly counselled and treated with compassion,” he said.
Asked about the arrests of separatist leaders in the state, Singh said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is the premier investigating agency of the country and is acting according to the law of the land, but added that this should not deter those who want to talk to the government.
“Law will take its course, but we are ready to speak to everybody. We have never opposed talks. The all party delegation came here and met everybody, we did not oppose that. I have already said that all stakeholders are welcome and anybody ready to talk to us is welcome,” he asserted.
Asked whether a formal invitation would be extended to the separatists for a dialogue Singh said: “What is formal or informal? We invite everyone. I request your help to restore peace and understand the intentions of the Prime Minister who said Kashmir problem will be resolved by embracing the people of Kashmir and not by ‘Goli'(Bullet) or ‘Gaali’ (Abuses)”.