The Congress Party on Monday lashed out at the Centre for treating civilians like militants and asked the ruling dispensation not to rule the Kashmir Valley at gunpoint.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, who initiated the debate on the violence in Kashmir following protests over Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani’s killing on July 8, said that he was deeply hurt with the present state of affairs in Kashmir.
“We haven’t learnt our lesson in Kashmir. We are with the government in ending militancy, but we can’t support this treatment of civilians. Can civilians be treated like militants? The Kashmiris don’t trust the government of India…the Centre can’t rule Kashmir at gunpoint,” Azad told the Rajya Sabha.
“Should locals be treated in the same way in which we treat militants? Should same bullets that are used on militants be used on the innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir? Should the militants and common man be treated alike?” he added.
He said the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir has many aspects including the internal situation and the role of state, Central Government as well as external forces.
“The people have been killed in all 10 districts of Jammu and Kashmi maximum damage was done in four districts of South Kashmir. The situation is a lot worse than 2008 and 2010 clashes,” said Azad.
“The governments are run on trust and faith, but the people of Jammu and Kashmir have a sense of mistrust towards the current government,” he added.
Clarifying his stand, Azad said the Kashmiris had a sense of trust during the Congress regime. “Over 1800 people have been injured in the valley.
We killed militants too, but also had a healing touch. Why is peace not being restored despite ten days of curfew? The BJP will take centuries to find acceptance in Kashmir,” he added.
“Why is disproportionate force used only in Kashmir? The Kashmiri Muslims still support Amarnath Yatra. I stand here as a deeply hurt man,” he added.
Curfew continued in Kashmir for the tenth consecutive day today.
Cellphone and internet services have been blocked in many parts of the state to prevent volatile rumours and newspapers have also been restricted.