BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav on Saturday said the Centre won’t budge from its position of not talking to Kashmir secessionists who use “people of the Valley as guinea pigs in their reprehensible politics of violence and separatism”.
Madhav, who was instrumental in cementing the BJP-PDP alliance in the state, unequivocally affirmed the Centre’s refusal to hold a dialogue with separatists and people who are “not loyal to India”.
“The separatists have only one motto: One dead body a day, so they can play sentimental politics over the dead bodies… The security forces and the government, on the other hand, try their best to ensure that the ill-intentions of the separatists don’t succeed. It is a difficult job being executed with commendable sincerity by the government and security forces,” he posted on a social networking site.
The statement comes a day after the Centre submitted in the Supreme Court that it does not plan to hold talks with separatists, and that dialogue to restore normalcy was possible only with the legally recognised stakeholders or political parties.
The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association against a high court order, seeking a stay on the use of pellet guns.
Amid an outcry over the Centre and the armed forces’ response to protests in the Valley, which have been marked by instances of stone-pelting against security personnel, the BJP has been resolute in demanding a complete withdrawal of violent demonstrations.
A recent incident of a civilian being used by security forces as a human shield against stone-pelters had sparked outrage across the nation.
The BJP general secretary, who met chief minister Mehbooba Mufti in the Capital this week, iterated that forces have “very few pellet guns” and even they are used only in rare situations. “Pellet guns are deemed less lethal than normal guns and bullets. Even then, the forces are trained to maintain maximum restraint and use other methods to control violence,” he said.
Even as political parties, human rights activists and interlocutors called for talks with separatists to end the impasse, Madhav justified his party’s stand to not include the Hurriyat in the process. “The government’s stand is, and should be, clear. Tackle militants and their sponsors with utmost toughness. Handle misguided youths coming onto the streets with stones in hand with deftness, so that violence is firmly put down. However, care must be exercised to prevent loss of life,” he wrote.
The BJP leader welcomed the Supreme Court’s directive that the bar association take the “first steps” by bringing all legally acceptable stakeholders on the table for workable suggestions to overcome the crisis.
“The Supreme Court also took a strong stand against the petitioners’ demand that pellet guns be withdrawn, exhorting them to first stop stone-pelting and street violence. The stand of the SC judges, including the CJI is commendable, and I am sure patriotic people in the country – including those in the Valley – welcome this position of the court,” he wrote.
The Valley has been on the boil since April 9, when the bypolls to the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency was held amidst conflict. While 7.14% polling – the lowest in three decades – was recorded, eight people were killed and scores injured in clashes with security forces.