The Monsoon session of the Parliament began on Monday with a discussion on the recent unrest in Kashmir that left over 40 dead. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the prevailing situation in the Valley is troubling and urged the state government to restraint from using excessive force while dealing with protesters.
Azad, who served as chief minister in Jammu-Kashmir, said the Congress stands with the Centre in ending militancy in Kashmir, but they do not endorse the way civilians are being treated.
The Congress leader drew the attention of the House to the number of people killed in the violence and the plight of those injured by pellets.
“Should locals be treated the same way we treat militants? Should same bullets that are used on militants be used on innocent people of J&K,” Azad said.
He added that pellet guns were not used during the Haryana riots despite large-scale violence across the state. Azad also accused the ruling party of vitiating the atmosphere in the Valley by making rash statements.
“We must ensure that the government’s attitude towards the civilians in Kashmir is that of a parent towards their children,” he said.
At an all-party meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, Azad drew the attention of leaders to the role of the national media. Chat shows featuring religious fundamentalists and exaggerated portrayals of the ground situation, he said, were fanning flames in the Valley.