Sun, Dec 4, 2016 | updated 11:56 PM IST

Curfew relaxation fine, but PM must come out with 'out of box initiative': Ashwini Kumar

Updated: Aug 29, 2016 18:59 IST
New Delhi [India], Aug. 29 (ANI): As curfew was relaxed in parts of Kashmir after 51 days, Congress' Member of Parliament of Rajya Sabha Ashwani Kumar on Monday said It's a good sign, but the Prime Minister Narendra Modi must come out with an out of box initiative so that the people of Kashmir, who are agitating for various reasons, get a feeling that there is a genuine attempt on the part of all, including all opposition parties.

"It's a good sign, but I do believe that much more will have to be done to bring a sense of belonging to the people of Kashmir. The Prime Minister has said that any wound on the soul of Kashmiris, is also a wound on the soul of India and all Indians; I think it is absolutely right. But the Prime Minister is in the seat of the power and authority, he must come out with an out of box initiative so that the people of Kashmir who are agitated for various reasons get a feeling that there is a genuine attempt on the part of all, including all opposition parties," he told ANI.

Curfew was relaxed in parts of Srinagar and other districts in the Valley, while shutdown and restrictions continued for 52nd consecutive day today.

Curfew was lifted from Anantnag town of South Kashmir and parts of Srinagar, while it remained in force in some parts of Srinagar under the jurisdictions of police station Maharajganj and Nowhatta in Srinagar.

The security forces have been deployed in sensitive areas of the Valley to prevent any protests in view of a Hurriyat Conference's call for lockdown of all government offices, except essential services.

Welcoming Prime Minister Modi for expressing his "regret and remorse" over the loss of lives in the Kashmir Valley, the Congress Member of Parliament of Rajya Sabha, said, "His words are correct, but he has to back it up with concrete action. That is what is expected from the Prime Minister of this country."

Expressing regret and remorse over the loss of lives in the Kashmir Valley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday said any life lost in the state, whether of any youth or any security personnel, is India's loss, adding that those instigating young, innocent children will have to answer to them someday.

With Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will be leading an all-party delegation to Kashmir on September 4, Aswani Kumar said, "I am glad that an all-party delegation is going to Kashmir, but the visit of this delegation is meaningful only if a credible negotiating framework is presented to the people in Kashmir."

Singh had yesterday held a meeting with BJP president Amit Shah, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh to discuss the modalities for the visit of the all-party delegation.

The meeting discussed possible individuals and groups with whom the delegation may interact. Meanwhile, the government has sounded out different political parties to convey the names of their representatives who will be part of the delegation.

Dubbing Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma's advice to female tourists not to wear short skirts while roaming around Agra city in the evenings as "highly uncalled for and totally unacceptable" statement, Kumar said, "This is bizarre for the Culture Minister of India to advice how foreigner should clad themselves while in India. It's totally unacceptable, particularly when our own constitution gives every citizen a right to dress the way one wants subject to the minimum norms of decency. I think this is the highly uncalled for statement, if indeed this is what the Culture Minister has said."

Mahesh Sharma committed a faux pax by advising female tourists not to wear short skirts while roaming around Agra city in the evenings, however, after a journalist sought Sharma's justification, the minister retracted or amended his view, saying the suggestion was made with regard to visits to religious places.

"When visitors land at the airport, they will be provided with a welcome kit. The kit contains a card, a pamphlet which describes do's and dont's, where it will ask the visitors not to travel at night, ask them not to wear skirts," he said on Saturday.

"In that kit, there is a pamphlet, which says that India is a cultural state where apparels change with respect to religious places like temples and asks the visitors to mind their dress codes," he retorted.

He also asked visitors to take a photograph of every vehicle's number plate as a precautionary measure while travelling.

Sharma, last year, had stoked controversy by saying that girls wanting a night out was not acceptable in India. (ANI)