Healing touch to tackling terror… RS debates Kashmir

RSTV Bureau
Srinagar: Protesters throw stones on security forces during a clash in Srinagar, August 9, 2016. Photo - PTI

Srinagar: Protesters throw stones on security forces during a clash in Srinagar, August 9, 2016.
Photo – PTI

The Upper House of Parliament is holding a debate on the unrest in the Kashmir Valley, which is reeling under curfew for the last 33 days. On Monday, the Opposition demanded discussion on the floor and sending an all-party delegation to Kashmir to take the first hand stock of the situation.

Starting the debate, leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad took a critical view of the government and sought why Prime Minister is not present in the house whenever such issues are debated.

“We are discussing the Kashmir issue for the fourth time. The Prime Minister should come. The Prime Minister chose Madhya Pradesh to speak on Kashmir. He did not come to this House,” he said.

Stressing that terrorism has to be dealt with firmly, Azad was particularly scathing on the use of pellet guns by the security forces. The weapon, termed a non-lethal weapon, has created a major controversy off-late after it use has left several protesters injured, especially suffering irreversible eye injuries. More than 100 persons have lost their eyesight, according to the official figures as quoted by him earlier.

The house witnessed a brief uproar with ruling MPs raising objection to Azad’s remarks where he took a critical view of current PDP-BJP alliance government in Jammu and Kashmir. The proceedings, however, resumed after intervension from leader of the house Arun Jaitley and senior MP Sharad Yadav.

Srinagar: Security forces using sling shot to chase away protesters during a clash in Srinagar, August 9, 2016. Photo - PTI

Srinagar: Security forces using sling shot to chase away protesters during a clash in Srinagar, August 9, 2016.
Photo – PTI

“We should appeal for peace and tranquillity from here for better future of Kashmir. This kind of unison voice should go from Parliament. That apart, an all-party delegation should go there,” the Congress leader said.

Speaking on the issue, TMC’s Derek O’Brien took on Pakistan establishment of meddling in India’s internal affairs, reffering to the recent remarks by Pakistan politicians and army officials on the situation in the valley.

Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav too targeted Pakistan and “poison is being injected in the hearts and minds of the people” of Kashmir and that “no solution will be effective till the time the source of this venom is blocked”.

Several other members spoke in the house echoing the broad sentiments of tackling the problem with a humane approach to firmly dealing with the terrorism, especially the cross-border terror.

55 people have been killed and scores injured due to a sudden spurt in clashes between the security forces and locals following the encounter killing of militant poster boy and Hizbul commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

With New Delhi getting worried about the tense situation in the valley, Prime Minister Modi held a meeting with Rajnath Singh and NSA Doval on Monday.

Even Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti landed in Delhi and met with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Defense minister Manohar Parrikar at the former’s North Block office. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval too was present in the meeting.

The opposition J&K National Conference and the Congress party have, however, criticised of the way Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP-BJP coalition government have handled the situation.