PDP MLA Aijaz Ahmad Mir on Thursday described Kashmiri militants getting killed at the hands of security forces and police as “martyrs” and “brothers”. The BJP reacted sharply to his remarks, saying they would take it up with the Assembly Speaker and Chief Minister.
“Jo Kashmir ke hain, chahey kisi bhi halat mein marein, woh martyr hain (Those who hail from Kashmir are martyrs irrespective of the circumstances in which they get killed),” Mir said outside the Assembly when asked whether he considered militants who were killed as martyrs. “Agar koi baccha 14 saal ka hai, usko pata nahin ki mein kya kar raha hoon. Woh to minor hai (If a boy is 14 years old, he does not realise what he is doing. He is a minor),” he said.
The statement comes a day after he, during the discussion on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address in the Assembly, had asked legislators not to express happiness over the killing of militants as they too, being Kashmiris, were “brothers”. He had sought initiation of talks with Hurriyat Conference and militants for resolution of the Kashmir issue.
Mir represents Wachi Assembly constituency in Shopian district. Less than three months ago, militants had thrown a grenade at his house in Shopian’s Zainpora area. No one was injured.
“My belief is that militants are also residents of Jammu and Kashmir and they are also our children. We shall not rejoice their death in any respect,” Mir said.
In an apparent reference to the ongoing violence, he said, “I believe it is our collective failure. We have killed 200 militants, but another 200 have joined their ranks. How long will it continue? Somewhere it has to be stopped. Somebody has to take the fangs.”
Describing the Kashmir issue as “political”, he said it has to be resolved politically. “Those people are getting killed with bullets and pellets… Kashmiri hai, woh to bhai hai, militant bhi bhai hai (Every Kashmiri is a brother including militants),” he said.
Mir attributed the attack on his house to ideological differences. “There can be an ideological clash between us and militants, and the latter on the basis of ideology can attack us, or we can say something to them. If we talk of India, they talk of something else,” he said. A solution will be found only through dialogue, he said, justifying his demand that the Centre’s representative in Kashmir hold talks with Hurriyat Conference and militants.
When asked whether his statement would demoralise security forces in the Valley, the PDP leader said, “We have sympathies with them also and we do not want them to get killed. Ask the mother of a security officer who gets martyred on the border or in an encounter… Likewise the parents of slain militants also suffer.”
Reacting to his remarks, BJP’s Nowshera MLA Ravinder Raina said, “Glorifying terrorists is like playing with fire.” He said he would take up the matter with Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta and request Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to reprimand her party legislator for his statements.
Minister of State for Transport Sunil Sharma, BJP MLA from Kishtwar, said that Mir’s remarks call for an inquiry.
NC MLA Ali Mohammad Sagar said Mir’s statements reveal the double standards of his party.