Jammu and Kashmir Congress president G A Mir Thursday claimed there is no change on the ground in the militancy situation since the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the erstwhile state, even though the BJP tried to show a “rosy picture” after the August 5, 2019 development.
He also said militancy is not going to finish just by operation “all out or finish out” alone.
“The central government downgraded J&K into UT to bring it under the direct rule of Delhi thinking that everything will be controlled. But I am surprised to know the recent statement of Director General of Police who said that there are 250 active militants and 200 others are waiting to across (the Line of Control) to infiltrate into this side,” Mir told reporters here.
He said that in early 1990s when militancy broke out in J&K, the then DGP had put the number of active militants at 250 and the figure more or less remained the same over the years as per the annual statements of the DGPs.
“It (BJP) propagated operation all out or finish out’ to convey that militancy is over and showed a rosy picture to the people of the country in the aftermath of the August 5, 2019 development,” he said.
“If the number (of active militants) has remained unchanged despite bringing J&K under the direct rule of Delhi, where is the difference?”
“J&K is an extra sensitive region. If you (BJP) deal with it like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan you are not choosing the right track,” the Congress leader said.
Asked about the Thursday’s attack on a BJP leader in Srinagar that left his police guard dead, Mir said, “We do condemn such incidents, but condemning attacks and killings at the hands of militants does not mean that nobody will be targeted tomorrow.”
Without elaborating, but apparently referring to the Indo-Pak engagement in the recent times, he said, “Suggestions are coming from different quarters and an opportunity is building up to sit together to resolve issues.
“The BJP-led government has to show magnanimity and open its heart for the upliftment of the people. It need to adopt extraordinary ways (to bring peace in J&K),” Mir said.
In his opening remarks, the Congress leader said 5,000 workers of his party were detained on different occasions during 100 rallies taken out over 45 days agitation against the rise in prices of essential commodities and for restoration of JK’s statehood.
“The biggest movement in the past several decades against ‘tax terrorism’ was undertaken from February 15 to March 30 and it saw direct participation of over 50,000 people,” he said.
He said it would be followed by another phase of protests within next couple of weeks.
“We have done our responsibility to raise the voice of the people and it is now up to the government what action it wants to take. If they do not want to take any action, we cannot help. The farmers are on the roads over the past several months but this government is unmoved.
“It has become deaf, dumb and blind and does not see the miseries of people who are reeling under the price hike of daily-use items,” Mir said.
He said the agitation was part of the party’s nationwide campaign against the price hike to awaken the government over its “wrong policies”.
Accusing the J&K administration of creating hurdles during their 45-day long agitation, he said, “We were arrested without giving any reason. Earlier, they used to keep us off the roads on the pretext of prohibitory orders and COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are surprised to see government organising programmes attended by large number of people which is in the interest of the ruling party, but we cannot hold a protest of 500 persons. The election rallies in different parts of the country are attracting people in large numbers but there is no COVID for them,” he said.
He said the Congress would continue to raise the voice of the people for the restoration of statehood to J&K.
“We will continue the demands of the people for restoration of the rights which were snatched from us,” he said.
He said his party would chalk out a programme to reach every nook and coroner of the UT to inquire from people about the three ‘back to village’ programmes of the government aimed at addressing the grievances of the public and check the status of the projects of national importance, sanctioned and funded by the previous UPA government for J&K.