The who's who of Kashmir trade and industry on Thursday condemned industries minister CP Ganga's remarks justifying use of bullets on stone throwing protesters, saying such remarks are "based on insanity" and "add fuel to fire".
Chairman Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) Muhammad Yaseen Khan, president Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir
(FCIK) Muhammad Ashraf Mir and president Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Mushtaq Ahmad Wani besides the leader of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation attended a meeting that was called to discuss the causes of frequent protests by people and the government's "ugly and brutal" response to such protests.
They later issued a statement that said minister's words "latoon kay boot baton say nahi mantey (no use talking to those used to beatings)" are serious and "based on insanity".
In a video clip that went viral recently, Ganga is heard saying, "They are traitors, whether they have come from Pakistan or live here. There is only one remedy for them and that is bullets. And if not bullets, they should be handed over such a punishment like the youth who are beaten with sticks by forces. Take my word that next time they (the youth) won't throw stones."
The meeting took note of the "provocative statements" made by some sections of political parties supporting the armed forces for "use of brutal force and using the innocent people as human shield".
"The trade bodies feel concerned and aghast at the threatening statements using irresponsible language unbecoming of a minister worth his salt," the statement said and asked BJP to restrain its leaders and cadres from "threatening Kashmiris who are not used to taking such language (lying down)".
"The irresponsible and divisive statement by political class is nothing but an attempt to justify the killing of innocent youth and unabated pellet firing and teargas shelling on school and college students. It should be known that the continued coercive use of power shall have serious consequences which could further vitiate the already tense situation," the joint statement said. GKNN