Protests erupt in occupied Kashmir Assembly against Indian Army Chief

Protests erupt in occupied Kashmir Assembly against Indian Army Chief

JAMMU: Protests erupted in occupied Jammu and Kashmir Assembly over Indian Army chief's remarks as the opposition National Conference (NC) created ruckus and walked out of the House demanding statement from the government over the issue.

Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat had on Friday said social media and government schools in the state were spreading a "disinformation campaign" resulting in radicalisation of youths.

In his statement, he had also called for "some control" over mosques and madrassas in the state and suggested a "major revamp" of the education system.

As the house assembled for the day, members of NC stood up and raised the issue of remarks of Gen Rawat and sought statement from the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti or any other minister.

Notably, the Education Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Altaf Bukhari had then accused the Army of "meddling in the state's affairs".

However, contrary to that, the BJP Jammu and Kashmir unit spokesperson Brigadier Anil Gupta (retd) in a statement asked "the minister to be pragmatic and accept the reality rather than locking horns" with the Army chief.

Brigadier Gupta said Gen Rawat's remarks should be viewed positively and not turned into a political issue.

Speaking on the issue in the Assembly, NC lawmaker Ali Mohammad Sagar told the house that the Army chief's statement is sad and unwarranted and that he should not have given such a statement which send a wrong message to Kashmir.

CPI(M) lawmaker MY Tarigami also criticised the statement and sought a reply from the government.

Amid protests, NC members were up on their feet in opposition as they sought statement from the CM over the issue.

After it was rejected, they walked out of the house.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Sagar said there is problem in the government and that the ruling alliance partners are not discussing the issue within.

"They (PDP and BJP) are not discussing issue within. Centre says one thing, army other, home ministry another, state government other. They have different directions," he said.

He also added that there is no radicalisation is Kashmir, and dismissed the statement as "manufactured propaganda" aimed to target Kashmir and Kashmiris.