Press Trust of india

Come home and contest elections: JK BJP chief to Salahuddin

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Jammu, May 17:  Newly-appointed Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief Ravinder Raina today asked Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin to shun gun-culture and return home in the state to join the mainstream and contest elections.

In his first statement after taking over as the state BJP chief, the 40-year-old also asked young militants from Kashmir to shun weapons and join the mainstream.

“I ask Syed Salahuddin, why you moving from pillar to the post in Pakistan and foreign countries. Return to your home and join the mainstream,” he told reporters here.

“If you (Salahuddin) claim to be the leader of Jammu and Kashmir, return and contest elections in the state through democratic process and prove it,” Raina said.

He also hit out at the chairman of the United Jehad Council, a conglomerate of militant outfits operating in Kashmir, for arming youths in the Valley leading to bloodshed and violence.

Mohammed Yusuf Shah, better known as Syed Salahuddin, was declared a “specially designated global terrorist” by the US Department of State in June last year.

The BJP chief said the Centre’s announcement yesterday that government forces would not launch any operations in the state during the month of Ramazan was conditional and not unilateral.

“The first bullet will not be fired from our side (Army). If the first bullet comes from the terrorists, then the guns of army, paramilitary force and police will not stay silent,” Raina said.

He thanked all workers and leaders of the BJP for having faith in him. “I will work with honesty, dedication and transparency,” he said.

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