Ex gratia for slain militant Burhan Wani’s brother might ruffle army’s feathers
The Jammu and Kashmir government announced an ex gratia to the kin of slain militant Burhan Wani’s brother, which army sources said would not only demoralise the forces but would also put PDP’s coalition partner — BJP— on the back foot.Burhan_wani_kashmir Updated: Dec 14, 2016 01:52 IST
The Jammu and Kashmir government announced an ex gratia to the kin of slain militant Burhan Wani’s brother, which army sources said would not only demoralise the forces but would also put PDP’s coalition partner — BJP— on the back foot.
The state government cleared compensation of Rs 4 lakh each for the kin of 17 people, who were not involved in anti-state activities, but died in any “militancy-related incident”. The list of beneficiaries includes Burhan Wani’s brother Khalid Muzaffar Wani, who was killed by security forces in Buchoo forest area on April 13 last year.
Reacting to the development, Khalid’s father Muzaffar Wani told local news agency CNS, “It is a really good news for me. At least the government has now admitted that my son was innocent and was killed in cold blood by the army...The government’s announcement vindicated my stand that Khalid was innocent.”
The army, however, maintained that Khalid was an ‘Over Ground Worker’ of the Hizbul Mujahedeen and was killed when a party of the armed forces retaliated to a militant attack.
Speaking to HT on the condition of anonymity, a top army general said, “(The relief) is a retrograde step. On one hand the CM wants to improve law and order in the Valley but on the other hand she is rewarding wrong-doers.”
According to Brigadier (retd) SS Saini, the state government’s decision was an offshoot of vote bank politics. “In vote bank-driven politics, these are all games of political compulsions. It is demoralising for soldiers, who have been combating terrorism and sacrificing their life in the line of duty,” he said.
War veteran Major General (retd) Goverdhan Singh Jamwal said Mehbooba’s decision was an attempt to regain political ground in the Valley but it had put the BJP in a spot.
“She should also understand the position of the BJP. The approach of the state government is not right…and it has weakened the BJP” he said.
State BJP president Sat Sharma, however, said that the saffron party opposed the decision to give compensation to the family of a “militant sympathiser”.
“BJP is of the view that a terrorist is a terrorist and an OGW (Over Ground Worker) of a militant outfit is an OGW. Army’s findings cannot be wrong. BJP doesn’t want to demoralise security forces. We stand by them,” he said. He added that at present only a list of beneficiaries had been prepared but no one was compensated and the BJP will hold a meeting to discuss the matter.