The Rajya Sabha on Monday debated the Kashmir unrest on the first day of Monsoon Session of Parliament. Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of Opposition in the Upper House, questioned the killing of around 40 civilians by the security forces in the Valley in the aftermath of Burhan Wani’s death. He demanded that the government should show accountability towards the deaths of civilains.
“No one has battled militancy in the manner in which we (Congress) have done. The highest number of militants were killed during the 1990s. We were in power in the State as well as Centre. Even when I was the chief minister of Kashmir, we battled the militants. But never did we unleash such an onslaught against the innocent civilians. How can you use the bullets meant for militants against a six-year-old boy?” Azad said.
Azad accused BJP of the rising anti-India sentiment in Kashmir. “We had warned you (PDP) before that alignment with BJP will remain unacceptable with people of Kashmir. BJP will require another 200 years to make inroads in the valley. Due to this (PDP-BJP) alliance, the anti-India sentiments in the Valley have escalated.”
“I’m not saying that during our rule, people of Kashmir had trust in New Delhi. But we had taken concentrated efforts in the past 40 years to bring them in the mainstream. We had announced a scholarship scheme for Kashmiri Pandits. The scheme is now lying dead ever since UPA went out of power.”
“If you think that by hoisting the RSS flag in the valley, you will inculcate nationalism in the people of Kashmir, then you are sadly mistaken. Your actions have made the wounds of valley deeper. You are taking the state back to the 90s,” said Azad.
Leader of House Arun Jaitley responded to Azad, “I agree that the situation in Kashmir has turned extremely serious…I also agree that the mass protest is not directed towards the tourists or the pilgrims of Amarnath Yatra. They were expressing their anger against the police and CRPF who killed one of the most famous militant (Burhan Wani).”
“We want to make it clear that battle is against the separatists, not the people of Kashmir. We want them to be included in the mainstream. We appeal the people of Kashmir to alienate themselves from the negative forces who do not want peace to prevail in the region.”