PDP Hits Back At Parrikar For 'Absurd' Statement
Naeem Akhtar, Education Minister of the state
SRINAGAR : A senior minister in Jammu and Kashmir government Sunday condemned the Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's remarks on reviving the state-backed militia to deal with insurgency in the state.
Terming Parrikar's views as "absurd," J&K's Education Minister, Naeem Akhtar said such practices are "illegal" and "unconstitutional."
“Whosoever is dishing out such absurd views is grossly ignorant about both the ground realities in Kashmir and the law,” Akhtar, who belongs to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said in a statement.
The Defence Minister's remarks on using "terrorists to kill terrorists" had sparked anguish in J&K with the opposition and separatists hitting out at the BJP as well as the coalition government for trying to push Kashmir back to the early nineties.
"We have to neutralise terrorists through terrorists only. Why can't we do it? We should do it. Why does my soldier have to do it?" Parrikar had said in New Delhi last week, hours ahead of his two-day visit to J&K.
Referring to the landmark judgement of the Supreme Court on Salwa Judam, the government-backed militia used by Chhattisgarh government to deal with the Maoists, Akhtar said the law is clear that arms can’t be given to a civilian to kill and “anybody doing so will be an abettor of the offence under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.”
“PDP has earned its credibility among the masses by rising against and holding back such practices. So if somebody has made any statement on the issue, he must be completely ignorant about the law,” Akhtar said.
Blaming the National Conference and Congress for creation of Ikhwanis, the dreaded counter-insurgency militia sponsored by New Delhi to fight insurgency in Kashmir, Akhtar said they were used for "political purposes."
“Everybody knows how in 2002, the PDP-led coalition government not only ended the infamous Ikhwan culture, but also wound up the dreaded Task Force. Except PDP, all other political parties and groups in Kashmir including NC and Congress ruthlessly used the government-gunmen for political purposes."
Soon after the controversy erupted, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah accused the incumbent Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed of reviving the Ikhwanis in the state.
“It was National Conference which provided political space to Ikhwanis in 1996 by sending them to the legislature and Congress was not far behind in institutionalizing Ikhwan culture by offering some noted Ikhwanis space in the party’s rank and file,” he said.