Should civilians be treated the same way as militants in J&K, asks Azad

"We are with the government in ending militancy," the LoP said.
Should civilians be treated the same way as militants in J&K, asks Azad
Should civilians be treated the same way as militants in J&K, asks Azad
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Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday hit out at the Centre over "brutalities" inflicted on civilians in Jammu and Kashmir, asking if civilians should be "treated in the same manner as militants".

"The situation in J&K has never been so bad. Why has the situation in Kashmir worsened since 2008-09? Even our government, Omar Abdullah's government and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's government saw such incidents, but we have never seen such brutalities on the civilians ever," said Azad.

"They have used bullets and pellet guns on the children, old men and women. Should locals be treated the same way we treat militants? Should the same bullets that are used on militants be used on innocent people of the state," asked Azad.

Azad further said: "We are with the government in ending militancy, but can’t support this treatment of civilians. No one supports militants. But there should be a difference between militants and common people," he said.

"People have been killed in all 10 districts of the state, the maximum damage was done in four districts of south Kashmir," he added.

Azad on Monday lashed out at the ruling BJP, saying the party was a "misfit" for Jammu and Kashmir and blamed it for the current violence in the state where more than 40 people have died in clashes.

"The current PDP-BJP coalition government is a contributing factor in the current situation in Kashmir. BJP is a misfit and will take ages to create its space in the sensitive area," Azad said during a short duration discussion in the house on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

"It took us (the Congress government) and other governments, 70 years to try and bring peace to Kashmir. We had a healing touch policy towards people but this government makes no difference between treating common people and militants," he said.

Azad also quoted former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's statement where he had said that he "learnt" from his "mistakes".

"We knew the difference between militants and civilians. There were bad situations during the regime also but we dealt with it carefully," he added.

Azad, a former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, also blamed the current BJP-PDP government of mishandling the situation and using "excessive force" which led to the killings of dozens and injuries of thousands of people. 

"Government should look at people as they look at their own children..but the situation in the hospitals which are full of injured people narrate it all".

He questioned the government for using "excessive force" to disperse the mobs protesting the death of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani and asked "why were the protesters in Haryana treated differently than in Kashmir".

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