Cracks in BJP-PDP as Industries Minister says stone-pelters need to be beaten, shot

A recording of Ganga’s remarks, made last Sunday after a public meeting in Ramgarh town along the international border in Samba district, surfaced Thursday.

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu | Updated: April 21, 2017 11:37 am
Kashmiri youth clash with paramilitary soldiers in Srinagar. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

With the Valley in turmoil, cracks appeared in the ruling alliance led by Mehbooba Mufti after a BJP minister described stone-pelting youth as “deshdrohi” (traitors) who deserved to be shot or beaten — “Uska ilaj hai goli” — because “laaton ke bhoot baaton se nahi maante” (those who do not listen deserve to be kicked).

The remarks by Chander Parkash Ganga, J&K minister for industries and commerce, were echoed by at least two BJP ministers but drew an angry reaction from partner PDP which said his “disgusting utterances” and “sickening and intimidating statement against Kashmiri youth” were not only “unbecoming of a senior minister” but also fraught with danger.

A recording of Ganga’s remarks, made last Sunday after a public meeting in Ramgarh town along the international border in Samba district, surfaced Thursday.

In the video recording, Ganga, BJP legislator from Vijaypur, refers to a video of youths being beaten by securitymen: “Aap ne ek video jo viral hua hai dekha, kaise Pakistan Murdabad bol rahe hain. Wahi log hain na jo patthar marte hain. Inka ilaj jahi ek joota hai. Yeh jo inko pyaar kartey hain, unko pappian lene ki zaroorat nahin hai. Deshdrohi hain aur deshdrohi ka ek hi ilaj hai, woh chahe Pakistan se aaya ho ya desh ke andhar ho. Uska ilaj hai goli. Aur agar goli na ho to kam se kam usko aisi sazaa deni chahiye, jaise usko dande maare thhay. Aisa hi inka ilaj chahiye. Dobara koi patthar maar jaye to aap baat karna… Kis tarah ki azadi chahiye inko, aap bataiye mujhe.”

(“You saw a video that has gone viral, how Pakistan Murdabad was being raised. These are the same people who hurl stones. They deserve to be beaten with shoes. Those who love them don’t have to kiss them. They are traitors and there’s only one cure, whether these traitors are from Pakistan or within the country. They deserve to be shot. If not bullets, at least punish them like the way there beaten. They deserve this treatment. If anybody throws a stone again, talk to me… what kind of independence do they want, tell me.”)

Two days after he made these remarks, Ganga attended a meeting of the cabinet, chaired by Mehbooba Mufti. The cabinet expressed “deep anguish” over the killing of civilians during protests in the Valley and urged security forces to “exercise maximum restraint”.

Although J&K BJP chief spokesperson Sunil Sethi disapproved of Ganga’s remarks saying this was not the party stand and “bullet is not an alternative, but the last resort when security forces feel there is a threat to their lives”, some of Ganga’s colleagues echoed his view.

Rajeev Jasrotia, BJP MLA from Kathua, said his government will be very strict in dealing with protesters in the Valley. “They are anti-national and there is no doubt about it. What else one can say about those raising Pakistani and ISIS flags on Indian soil,” he said.

Abdul Ghani Kohli, BJP minister for animal husbandry and fisheries, said “there is no doubt that some of the protesters in the Valley are anti-national”. He claimed their numbers were small but others were “joining them out of fear”. The “anti-national elements”, he said, “shall be dealt with sternly, keeping in view the national interest”.

He was supported by another BJP minister, Choudhary Lal Singh, who hold the portfolio of forest, ecology and environment: “I only believe that there is a law to deal with those raising pro-Pakistan slogans and attacking security forces. And it shall be implemented.”

But Ganga’s remarks angered partner PDP whose vice-president Mohammad Sartaj Madni said such “disgusting utterances” are not only “unjustifiable” but “perilous” as well.

“It is unbecoming of a senior minister in the government to dish out such a sweeping, sickening and intimidating statement against Kashmiri youth,” Madni said in a statement.

He said Ganga’s statement was in contravention to the stand of the state cabinet on the issue. “Instead of reaching out to the distressed and alienated Kashmiri youth and address their concerns”, Madni said, “the hawkish rhetoric of such fringe elements has the danger of further adding to the alienation of the people and impeding the government’s efforts of restoring peace and calm in the Valley”.

“Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had entered into an alliance with the BJP only with the objective of bridging the gulf between the people of different regions the state and taking Jammu and Kashmir to new heights of inclusive development and prosperity,” he said, adding “unfortunately the unwarranted statements of such fringe elements are negating the basic philosophy of this alliance”.

“Instead of bringing people together, such insidious statements are unfortunately only going to add to the void,” Madni said. “We hope that good sense will prevail and the BJP leadership will take serious note of such uncalled-for statement from a senior minister of the party,” he said.

PDP leader and education minister Altaf Bukhari said “Kashmir is a political issue and denying that fact won’t help. We cannot brush it under the carpet.” He said Ganga’s statement is “unfortunate” and “further vitiates the already vitiated atmosphere”.

“The best course is to start engagement and negotiation process. It cannot be dealt as a mere law and order problem alone,’’ Bukhari said. “This is what our agenda of alliance also recognises.”

Another PDP leader and minister Imran Raza Ansari called Ganga’s statement as “unwarranted”.

“This is not how a senior leader and a public representative should talk. Whenever youngsters throw stones in any other part of the country, nobody opens fire at them. This is not the way. Being in power does not entitle him to say all this. We need to talk to people, not kill them,’’ Ansari said.

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  1. V
    Veeranjaneyulu N
    Apr 23, 2017 at 12:24 am
    there is nothing wrong in what minister said..only thing is they slept for two years and woken up now..hope they wont sleep again.
    Reply
    1. A
      Amit Jog
      Apr 22, 2017 at 1:03 pm
      Whats wrong in the statement, did he said all kashnir youth? no. Only those who chant stan zinda and beating indian forces, should not they be treated as traitors, or should they be awarded veer chakra etc. Disgusting
      Reply
      1. S
        SP
        Apr 21, 2017 at 12:18 pm
        The situation in Kashmir will not improve as long as NC and PDP are not committed to do away with special status and accept that J&K is as special as all other states. Every state Government under federal set up has adequate autonomy. They should take the trouble of getting people on their side and do away with separatists.
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        1. H
          Hedonist
          Apr 21, 2017 at 11:48 am
          Muslim behavior in Kashmir is same as other parts of the world.
          Reply
          1. S
            Shahid
            Apr 21, 2017 at 11:10 am
            Well, Mr. Minister we are already doing that but it is not helping anybody.
            Reply
            1. J
              Jyoti Sarup
              Apr 21, 2017 at 11:01 am
              I agree that they should be shot on the spot .. PDP or no PDP .. JS
              Reply
              1. J
                Joe
                Apr 21, 2017 at 10:00 am
                All the true patriots have come out to type.
                Reply
                1. R
                  rameshnk
                  Apr 21, 2017 at 10:00 am
                  I want to ask Indian Express and PDP. You want to award PadmaShri to these stone throwers. They are definitely antinationals. Why they do it so brazenly is only because our foolish law has tied down the hands of security people. If security people apply harsh measures, these so called youth wouled not dare throw staones at the drop of the hat. Pray let me ask Mehbooba or otger sympathisers - Why such stone throwing happens only in Kashmir not eveni n Kjammu and Ladkh, why Kashmir is so different. It is only because of Mehbooba and other useless politicains who have no guts no sense of goernance. Only statement she gives is always in favour of people be they terrosits , separatists, stone pelters whatever. What kind of Govt. is there in Kashmir. Is it a Govt. or just a time p Govt. First Kick out this Mehbooba and bring in Jagmohan kind of Governor. All the stone pelting will be iover in a day. I saw a picture of a young college in Hijab throwing stones. What a
                  Reply
                  1. R
                    Ravishankar
                    Apr 21, 2017 at 9:10 am
                    Stone throwing pig-lets deserve to be shot.
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      aslam ali
                      Apr 21, 2017 at 8:28 am
                      Indian govt has to think why Kashmiri youth joined these protests if the say that the youth are mislead by their Masters then I think it's really a thinkable or actionable situation coz is the govt. Have nothing to take together the Kashmiri youth with the India
                      Reply
                      1. B
                        BHAGWAT GOEL
                        Apr 21, 2017 at 8:14 am
                        THANK YOU GANGA, YOU ARE RIGHT.
                        Reply
                        1. Y
                          yash sehgal
                          Apr 21, 2017 at 8:00 am
                          Absolutely correct Ganga bhai..only thing remains bjp must withdraw its support to PDP n impose Governor rule in kashmir..
                          Reply
                          1. V
                            Vineet Saini
                            Apr 21, 2017 at 7:53 am
                            It has been a long time since stone pelters are being educated the consequences of this protest but they seem to be in self-denial mode and will never understand what is in their favour. So be it and face the music. My support to Indian Army.
                            Reply
                            1. R
                              Romik
                              Apr 21, 2017 at 7:11 am
                              Sonic cannon and Light Sabre are good alternatives for crowd control.
                              Reply
                              1. R
                                Romik
                                Apr 21, 2017 at 7:06 am
                                Pehle inke Papa ( Pakancer) ki havaa tight karo! Uske badd inko nichoro! Phir Tibet ko frre karo.
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  Shafted mohammed
                                  Apr 21, 2017 at 7:03 am
                                  Here is a nationalist who loves his country more than anything else. I feel start using plastic bullets and those who are repeat offenders should be sent to a jail in car Nicobar for ten years. It should be made clear if you go for terrorist agenda you are ruined spend most of your time in isolation in a high security jail. Sent ten to fifteen thousand terror supporters and I promise you everything would be quiet.
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    Sheik Mohamed
                                    Apr 21, 2017 at 6:30 am
                                    Stone pelters deserves beat/shot, but what about those in security agencies who had committed atrocities against commoners in Kashmir in the name of maintaining Law&Order are they Desh Bhakths/Patriots. What about abrogation of article 370 as promised by NAMO to end this? Why saffronized party and and its affiliated organizations prefer not to utter a single word about this?
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      rameshnk
                                      Apr 21, 2017 at 10:03 am
                                      Mr.Sheik Suggest you go Kashmir and face these stone throesr and other antinationals with your standard Operating practises. You will know what it is. Dont sit in your drawing room and give suggestions to security people. Had the stani army replaced Indian army. none of these so called innocnets would have dared. Reason : stan army has no standard practises. What happened in Bangladesh, please ask them.
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