The Jammu and Kashmir Police officer who had last week said at an event in Mumbai that local militants in Kashmir are not terrorists, and that people should not express joy over their killings, on Wednesday said that he had expressed those views in his personnel capacity, and stood by what he had said.
“Whatever I had to say, I have said that in detail and stand by my views,’’ SSP Shailendra Kumar Mishra, Commandant, 2nd battalion, Indian Reserve Police (IRP), said. Mishra said he does not need to explain it further: ‘’Those were my personal views — what I observed as an officer.’’
An IPS officer of 2009 batch, Mishra, speaking at a function of Brahman Mahasammelan in Mumbai last week, called the killing of Kashmiri militants as “our collective failure”. The video of Mishra’s speech was widely shared on social media in the Valley.
Mishra told the audience: ‘’Please do not rejoice at the killing of militants. These killings are a symbol of our defeat, our collective failure. What were the circumstances that led to the death of Burhan Wani? Waseem Malla (Wani’s associate, killed in encounter last year) was an Indian citizen — he was born in Shopian (in south Kashmir) and (was) a student of BA second year. So what happened that he picked up the gun and denied his Indian identity, and began to hate every institution of India…?”
The officer said that there is no terrorism in India, and Kashmir is a part of India. “There is no terrorism but militancy (in India). In J&K, some of our youth have complaints with the system, our way of working. (But) they are our kids; they are our own people. They have become thugs, they have become anti-social. We get no pleasure out of killing them.”
He said, “Today, the effort is to capture them alive. We are trying to bring them back from the path on which Pakistan is leading them.” Mishra asked people in the audience to visit Kashmir and see the pain of the local population, and urged them to to properly educate others, especially the young, about what is happening in Kashmir.
The SSP also spoke about the sacrifices made by local people who join the police and the Army.
Asked whether Mishra’s speech reflects the state police’s thinking, Director General of Police S P Vaid said he needs to check what the officer had actually said. “I think I shouldn’t comment on this issue,” he said.