J&K minister regrets 'bullets for stone pelters' remarks
Jammu and Kashmir Industries Minister Chander Prakash Ganga, who stoked a controversy by calling for use of bullets on protesters in the valley, on Friday expressed regret over his comments.
"If anyone is hurt by my statement, I express regret over it," he said in a video statement.
The minister's statement came after a meeting between BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav and PDP leaders in Jammu on a range of issues, including Ganga's controversial statement, which had led to public bickering between the alliance partners PDP and BJP.
Ganga had reportedly called stone pelters as traitors.
"There is only one remedy for them and that is bullets.
And if not bullets, they should be given punishments like the youths who are beaten with sticks by forces. Take my word that next time they (the youth) won't throw stones," he was quoted as saying by the local media. The BJP leader said his statement was twisted out of context by certain sections of media. "My entire focus was targeted at the National Conference which had made a statement on the issue (of stone pelting)," he added.
Meanwhile, BJP minister Chander Prakash Ganga's remarks on stone pelters are not isolated utterances, but point towards a "deeper prejudice patronised and institutionalised by the PDP-BJP alliance", Opposition leader Farooq Abdullah said today. Abdullah termed PDP's condemnation of Ganga's comments as a "painful joke", adding that the Mehbooba Mufti-led party's "continued, unconditional and apologetic alliance with the BJP validated such remarks at the cost of our people's sense of dignity and respect."