Separatists have criticised Army Chief Bipin Rawat’s remarks about protesting youths, calling it a ploy to incite them. Rawat had described the situation in Kashmir “as a dirty proxy war” and said he wished the youths would have weapons instead of stones. “Then I would have been happy. Then I could do what I want to do.” Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq wrote on a social networking site, “India’s Army chief wishing people of Kashmir had guns instead of stones so he could happily do so as he pleases with them actually incites our youth.’’
Mirwaiz said the “level of arrogance of power and contempt exhibited towards the people of Kashmir” through such insensitive statements no longer shocks them. He added that they have realised that they are “no longer considered human beings by the Indian state” and that Delhi was interested in a military solution to a political and human issue.
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik said, “To kill every Kashmiri shows the criminal mindset of Indian rulers and their forces.’’ Another separatist leader Shabir Shah said there was contradiction in the minds of the Indian leadership and Army. “It proves that the Indian Army deliberately gatecrashes educational institutes and provokes the students with an ill mentality.’’