Union Minister of State, Jitendra Singh. (Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi)
Union Minister Jitendra Singh today said no such decision would be taken which might undermine the morale of security forces operating in Jammu and Kashmir. On the Centre’s decision to open up the post of joint secretaries to people, even from the private sector, he said it is part of an endeavour to get the best from whichever sources available.
He also warned that action would be taken against officials who facilitated Aadhaar or voter cards to illegally settled Rohingyas.
Singh also questioned the silence of the opposition Congress and National Conference (NC) over the Centre’s “historic path-breaking” announcement with regard to Rohingyas and said “nothing is now left for any debate on the issue”.
On June 8, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said all states have been asked to conduct a survey of Rohingya Muslims living there, but have been cautioned against providing any legal documents to members of the community that would later help them claim Indian citizenship.
On registration of FIR against security forces and suspending operations against militants during Ramzan and its impact on the morale of security forces in the state, he said the Narendra Modi government is giving highest priority to the concerns of security forces and also to what is closest to them for keeping up their morale.
“Nothing will be done which tends to undermine the morale of security forces,” Singh told reporters here.
On the issue of illegally settled Rohingyas, he asserted that the Union home minister said they belong to Myanmar and in any case they have to go back.
“This could have been the most decisive action contemplated and initiated by the Government of India (against Rohingyas). The stay of Rohingyas in the country has posed a number of diverse problems and accordingly the home minister has initiated a process and also issued an advisory to different state governments to prepare a list of all these people and collect their biometrics and other identity details in order to ensure that they do not take undue advantage of their stay over here,” he said.
“If at all any one of them (Rohingyas) has by any dubious means managed to obtained Aadhaar or a voter identity card that would not be valid and those in the administration who are found guilty of having facilitated it will be taken to task,” the minister of state in the prime minister’s office said.
Hitting out at the Congress and NC over the issue, Singh said, “The question is how did they (Rohingyas) come here, why their arrival was not noticed and was there anybody facilitating their settlement here? The NC, which is quite touchy about granting citizenship rights even to west Pakistani refugees who are here for the last 70 years, was conveniently turning a blind eye to the settlement of Rohingyas.”
“So was there a political motivation underlying and was it also dictated by the consideration of vote composition getting changed in terms of demography. These are the questions which I think need the answers from the political parties who were at the helm at that time,” he said.
“Why did not they welcome the historic path-breaking announcement like other right thinking citizens,” he said, adding that the two parties are not comfortable in out-rightly saying Rohingyas should go back because they have in back of their mind considerations of “certain constituencies to which they cater in separatist and semi-separatist leaning and posture”.
On the killing of six heavily-armed infiltrators in Keran sector of Kupwara district in north Kashmir, Singh said the Union home minister has already made it clear that if somebody indulges in terror activities, appropriate action would be taken against them, but there would be no hurdle for anyone who comes forward for dialogue.
Asked about the Centre’s decision to open up the post of joint secretaries to people, even from the private sector, the minister said it is part of an endeavour to get the best from whichever sources available.
“Modi has led India on the path of development on a rapid pace. A number of decisions have taken place in the governance front during the past four years, whether it is giving away the age-old British legacy of getting certificates attested by the gazetted officers or abolishment of interviews for lower posts.
“This all is motivated with the focus on aligning every citizen of India and give a fair chance to ensure his or her growth depending on potential, capability and diligence,” he said.
He said it will have no impact on UPSC pattern.
The government has opened up senior-level bureaucratic posts in several departments to people, even from the private sector, who are “talented and motivated”, and willing to contribute towards nation building.