An MLA of Jammu and Kashmirs ruling PDP today stoked a controversy when he described militants shot dead in encounters with security forces as "martyrs" and also cautioned against glorifying their killings.
"Militants who are from Kashmir are martyrs, they are our brothers, some of them are minors who don't even know what they are doing", Aijaz Ahmed Mir told the media. "We should not celebrate their killing", said Mir, who represents the Watchi constituency in Shopian.
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". "It is a collective failure", Mir argued. He said that the government should sympathise with families of terrorists as well as security forces. We should not glorify the killing of terrorists.
His comments were denounced by the BJP, which partners the PDP or People's Democratic Party in Kashmir. The PDP is in alliance with the BJP (in Jammu and Kashmir).
Chief Spokesperson, Sunil Sethi, in a statement said that it seems that said legislator has lost mental balance to talk in the language of militants and separatists while under oath of Constitution as legislator.
He said, "Be that militant, or any one, they are Kashmiris, they are our brothers". Stating that he considers "slain militants as martyrs" the PDP MLA said, "Jo Kashmir ke hein, chahey kisi bhi halat mein marein, woh martyr hein".
Speaking to NDTV, state BJP MLA Ravinder Raina said, "I condemn this ridiculous statement".
"Aijaz Ahmed has insulted the security forces and will of the nation to fight militancy, and if he has sympathy with militants then he should leave mainstream politics, he added".
"They are our children and we should not be happy over their deaths". In a stinging response, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "Terrorists and separatists are enemies of Kashmir, Kashmiris, development and peace".