Centre spent Rs 20 crore in 4 years to ‘win hearts and minds’ of Kashmiris

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The bulk of the money, Rs 15.51 crore, has gone into the civic plan whose main objective is to “win the hearts and minds” of the people of J&K and for “mainstreaming youth”.

The government of India has spent more than Rs 20 crore during the past four years on initiatives aimed at “winning the hearts and minds” of people in Kashmir.

Official details gathered by Greater Kashmir reveal the Union Ministry of Home Affairs spent Rs 20.73 crore on “civic action plan” and “other social services” in J&K since 2013-14.

 The bulk of the money, Rs 15.51 crore, has gone into the civic plan whose main objective is to “win the hearts and minds” of the people of J&K and for “mainstreaming youth”.

Under the program, the ministry funds Central paramilitary forces, J&K police and non- governmental organisations to undertake various activities, including organising medical camps, human resources development, sports and projects relating to “national integration, democracy and democratising the local-level institutions”.

A high-level committee headed by joint secretary (Kashmir), ministry of home affairs, examines the proposals submitted under the program and submits its recommendations to the Union home secretary for approval.

The rest of the money, Rs 5.22 crore, has been spent by the ministry’s J&K division on taking Kashmiri children and youth to various places in India.

“This ministry has been organising excursion tours in the name of Bharat Darshan and Watan Ko Jano. The main objective of these tours (is) to expose youth to social and cultural diversity of India so that they feel socially, culturally and emotionally integrated with rest of the country,” reads an official document.

The program, the document states, is mostly meant for the “orphans of militancy-affected persons from rural areas in the age group of 14-20”.

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