Kashmiri militants killed in encounters ‘martyrs’: J&K MLA’s statement shocks all

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Peoples Democratic Party MLA Aijaz Ahmad Mir Thursday said that Kashmiri militants killed in encounters with security forces and the police are “martyrs”.

“We should not celebrate the killings of militants, it is our collective failure, we feel sad when our security forces are martyred as well, we should sympathise with parents of security jawans and with parents of militants as well,” he said outside the Assembly on Thursday.

Jo Kashmir ke hein, chahey kisi bhi halat mein marein, woh martyr hein (Those who hail from Kashmir are martyrs irrespective of the fact under what circumstances they get killed),” he said, while replying to a question whether he considered slain militants as martyrs.

The PDP MLA’s statement comes a day after he had asked legislators in the J&K Assembly not to express happiness over the killing of militants as they too were “brothers”. He demanded the government to hold talks with separatists and militants to resolve the Kashmir issue.

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Mir represents the Wachi assembly constituency in Kashmir’s Shopian district which is a hotbed of militancy. Less than three months ago, militants had thrown a grenade at his house in Shopian’s Zainpora area in October last year. No one inside the house was, however, injured.

On Wednesday, he had asked J&K legislators to stop politicising the killing of militants and take some appropriate steps to end violence. Those dying in Kashmir were Kashmiris and are “brothers”, he added, asking the House to stop the blame game over killings.

Meanwhile, reacting to  Mir’s statement, BJP MP and Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas told ANI: “Terrorists and separatists are the enemies of Kashmir, Kashmiris, development and peace. How can they be someone’s brother?”

While Minister of State for Transport and BJP MLA Sunil Sharma said that no one can describe a slain militant as “martyr”. If a sitting legislator has said it, it certainly calls for an enquiry, he added.

BJP MLA from Nowshera, Ravinder Raina, said that glorifying terrorists is like playing with fire and he will take up the matter with the Speaker and also ask Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to reprimand her legislator for such a “sensational” statement.

Former minister and National Conference MLA, Ali Mohammad Sagar, said that it only highlights the “double standards” of the PDP.

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