Army’s ‘meddling’ in state affairs unacceptable: J-K minister

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday hit back at Army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat over his remark that government schools in the state are spreading a “disinformation campaign” which is radicalising the youth, saying the Army’s “meddling” in the state’s affairs was unacceptable.

Addressing a press conference yesterday, Rawat said each classroom in government schools in Jammu and Kashmir has a separate map of the state besides that of India which sowed the seeds of thought of some kind of “separate identity” among the children.

“I do not know what the Army chief has said or how he said it, but what I know is that our children are not going towards radicalisation,” Minister for Education Syed Altaf Bukhari told reporters here.

“Everyone has his own domain. Those who have no link to education are talking about it. It is not a fair comment and we do not accept it,” Bukhari said.

The minister said the state’s students and teachers were “very efficient”, and “some have topped the IAS exam”.

Bukhari said while the state’s education system may have shortcomings, there was no need for sermons about it from the Army.

“Those people who are not concerned with education tell us whether there should be one map or two maps in the schools. This is unacceptable,” said Bukhari.

“This is a state subject. I do not think I will take any sermon from anybody. I have a boss, who is the chief minister (Mehbooba Mufti). If she finds any fault in the education system, we will do (address) it. She is the only one from whom we will take sermon,” Bukhari said.

He said the Army should rather concentrate on its own job.

“…Let him (Army chief) do his own job, I am doing mine and if the borders are protected, the incidents of violence will come down… perhaps they are not doing their job properly because of which we are suffering,” he said.

The minister said India is a democratic country and the Army cannot have a control over everything.

“Perhaps he (Army chief) knows it and I know it very well,” he said.

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