Tying of man to jeep must not be seen as rights violation: Nirmal
Major Leetul Gogoi's act of tying a man to a jeep as a human shield against stone-pelters should not been seen as human rights violation and there should be no politics over it, Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said on Thursday.
The BJP leader said Gogoi had saved many lives by showing the "presence of mind" in a particular situation.
Singh maintained that the government was ready for talks and that it was doing its best to create an atmosphere where a dialogue can be started.
He said a "comprehensive plan" was being chalked out to deal with mlitancy and violence and "we are expecting good results which will pave the way for restoration of peace and normalcy in Kashmir very soon."
Referring to the April 9 incident in which Gogoi had tied a man to his jeep as a shield against stone-pelters during polling in Budgam district, Singh told reporters here that the Major was "facing a situation" and "adopted a way out by showing presence of mind, thus saving many lives."
There should be no politics over it, the BJP leader said, two days after his party's coalition partner, the PDP, expressed displeasure over honouring of the Army officer.
PDP general secretary Nizamuddin Bhat, while commenting on the Army chief's commendation card given to Gogoi, had said on Tuesday that honouring the officer was "not proper" as the act was a human rights violation.
Singh insisted that the incident should not be seen in the light of human rights violation as the officer adopted a way out to save the lives of many people including local polling staff, policemen and the protesters.
"Several people among protesters or the trapped party would have lost their lives, if the officer had used live ammunition. It should be seen in that context. It is a bigger thing that human lives were saved," the deputy CM said.
To a question about militants including Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Abu Dujana escaping security cordon seven times in the recent past in south Kashmir with the help of stone- pelters, he termed these as "minor incidents".
"We are fully confident of the success of the comprehensive plan which will have a positive impact on the ground in near future," Singh added.
In reply to another question about a civil society group meeting some separatist leaders here, he said, "It is good if they (separatists) are talking as things will move forward only through dialogue." He said the state government is not against dialogue but wants a conducive atmosphere to prevail to begin the process.
"We have made it clear in the 'Agenda of Alliance' (between the PDP and the BJP) that all issues will be addressed through dialogue and the state government is doing its best to create such an atmosphere where dialogue is started," the deputy chief minister said.
He said when the parliamentary delegation visited the valley last year, separatists shut their doors and refused to talk to them. "When such an atmosphere is prevailing, how can the process of dialogue take shape?.. In the coming times, when the roar of guns and stone pelting stops, such things will move forward," he said.