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Media exaggerating situation in Valley, state officials tell Home Secretary

Mehrishi visited Kashmir a day after Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz, 23, was abducted by militants from his house in Shopian and murdered.

Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi | Updated: May 13, 2017 10:35 am
 Rajiv Mehrishi, Kashmir unrest, Kashmir unrest reportage, media exaggerating Kashmir situation, Rajiv Mehrishi kashmir, Kashmir violence, India news, Indian Express Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi (Express File Photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

Officials from the Jammu and Kashmir administration have conveyed to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi that the situation in the Valley is not as bad as is being portrayed, and the media is “widely exaggerating” the current unrest.

Mehrishi met top civil and police officials of the state during his one-day visit to Kashmir on Thursday. Senior police officials from south Kashmir — where several incidents of violence were recorded — reportedly told him that there are nearly 50,000 schools in the state but students from only four to five schools participated in stone-pelting. The media portrayed it as a widespread phenomenon, a senior Union Home Ministry official quoted state officials as saying.

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The MHA official, who was part of the central team, said such projection on national television was being misused by India’s neighbours to build a false narrative in the Valley at “little cost”.

Mehrishi visited Kashmir a day after Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz, 23, was abducted by militants from his house in Shopian and murdered. Police later said that Hizbul militants were behind the murder.

During the review with the Home Secretary, the police also claimed that the number of youths joining militancy had not gone up. Among the locals who took up arms, 38 are under matriculate, 42 are matriculate, six are graduates, two post-graduates and two with technical training, according to statistics with Jammu and Kashmir Police.

The issue of cancellation of Anantnag bypolls also came up for discussion. The state government was of the view that the situation would have not deteriorated if the Election Commission (EC) had agreed to their suggestions of not holding the April 9 Srinagar bypolls.

Officials said that Mehrishi visited a CRPF camp in Avantipura, where some personnel had queries on the government’s “soft stand” on protesters. They referred to the revised standard operating procedure issued by the MHA on use of pellet guns as the second last resort against stone-pelters. Mehrishi is learnt to have conveyed to the troops that they would soon be provided better equipment and stone-proof gear. He also urged the CRPF men to continue showing restraint with protesters.

Mehrishi also reviewed preparedness for the upcoming Amarnath Yatra. The number of pilgrims registering for Amarnath Yatra has not shown any decline, the officials reportedly said. The MHA, sources said, has decided not to take any chances. A review meeting on Amarnath Yatra will be held with Mehrishi on May 22, they added.

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  1. M
    Murthy
    May 13, 2017 at 4:04 pm
    I am also reminded of an instance when The Hindu carried a report of discrimination against Dalits in a village in Tamil Nadu. The report mentioned a Tea Shop serving Dalits only in paper cups. The very next day of that publication, by coincidence, my two colleagues were passing through that village. They happened to stop by that very same Tea Shop. Everyone was served tea in paper cups. The shop's owner said that the man who washes glasses was away visiting his family in another village. Indian Media wants to "modify" their reporting to conform to their perception of India. The Hindu's editor at that time was Mr. N. Ram.
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    1. M
      Murthy
      May 13, 2017 at 12:48 pm
      Not just in Kashmir, in many other instances, our Media e-x-a-g-e-r-a-t-e-s every disturbance, however small. After reading my morning dose of the English Medium media, I had often phoned my friends and relations in towns and cities, where the media alleged serious rioting was happening .... only to find that life is normal in MOST of the town or city and that the disturbance was only in one corner of one street, involving some fifty people !!!! Can you imagine, since last May '16, how many columnists and P.Chiddu had gave us the impression that the entire Kashmir is out in the street pelting stones....
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      1. S
        SP
        May 13, 2017 at 12:01 pm
        Media should go all out showing Kashmir Valley - stone pelting , militancy , costs of maintaining Army in J&K , kil of Jawans etc. Congress did a job of bringing India on the threshold of another par ion. The demographic profile of the community which engineered the par ion at 20 in 1947 , again increased from 7.8 in 1951 to 15 in 2011 and now unofficially claiming to be 18 - 20 . Also , media should show truthfully what happened to the minorities and their worship places in stan and Bangladesh after independence.Let the debate go on . One thing is definite , India will not see another par ion in this century and the next , but will find a solution . Historically , Indian sub-continent always found a peaceful solution to social issues during many thousand years of its civilized existence. Just for comparison , most of Europe was tribal just 600 years before and they have so many nations today. Ancient and medieval India always had a cultural fabric interwoven.
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        1. M
          Murthy
          May 13, 2017 at 12:41 pm
          Good points. Pseudo Secularism in India is very REAL and our Media is FULL of these pseudo seculars.
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