A CPI(M) delegation consisting of Sitaram Yechury, Member of Polit Bureau and Leader of CPI(M) Group in Rajya Sabha and Mohd. Yusuf Tarigami, Member of CPI(M) Central Committee and Secretary of Jammu & Kashmir State Committee and Member of Legislative Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir met the Home Minister of India at 3.55 p.m. today and discussed the issues contained in the following memorandum in order to provide greater and more meaningful relief for the people suffering as victims of this unprecedented natural disaster in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. We are releasing the text of the memorandum for publication. Dear Rajnath Singhjee, Recently, along with a CPI(M) delegation, I visited the state of Jammu & Kashmir (October 7-9, 2014) and saw the devastation caused by the natural disaster across the state. The condition of the people is really pathetic. In many places, no government or any other agency has reached till date to provide any help or relief. The Hon’ble Prime Minister has also visited the state recently and made certain announcements for relief and help. Under these circumstances, we demand of you that the Central government must: 1) Immediately declare this natural disaster in the state of Jammu & Kashmir as a “national disaster” and take all the consequent measures to provide immediate relief and rehabilitation; 2) The package announced by the Prime Minister is insufficient and the Central government must come forward with a more comprehensive package, particularly for the rehabilitation of the people who have been completely rendered homeless and face a total uncertainty regarding their future. 3) The business and tourism commerce has been virtually decimated in the state, particularly in the valley. All of us know that tourism is a source of livelihood for lakhs of people in the valley, particularly in this season. Measures must, therefore, be taken for revitalization of business and commercial activities while ensuring new employment opportunities for the youth. 4) Much of the arable land has been devastated, cattle destroyed and all standing crops virtually destroyed in the state, particularly in the valley. Immediate concrete relief measures for the farmers and adequate compensation for the loss of standing crops must be announced. 5) There is a widespread feeling and anger amongst some sections of the people, which was reflected when we visited the state, the valley particularly, that offers of foreign assistance to help the victims of this disaster are not being accepted by the Central government. A clear statement from the Central government on this issue is necessary to scotch unnecessary speculation on this score which can be very damaging for the objective of securing the confidence of the people in the valley. This is, ironically, also an opportunity for the Central Government and the rest of India to display their emotional connectivity with the people of the valley. This government must rise to this occasion on the lines we suggest. With regards, Yours sincerely Sd/- (Sitaram Yechury) (Mohd. Yusuf Tarigami) Member, Polit Bureau, CPI(M) Secretary, Jammu & Kashmir Member of Parliament State Committee, CPI(M) Leader, CPI(M) Group, Rajya Sabha Member of Legislative Assembly, Jammu & Kashmir