BJP ‘offer’ evokes Kashmiri’s ire
As Kashmir observed a complete shutdown against the arrest of aged, ailing separatists Syed Ali Shah Geelani, it was the BJP’s counter-insurgent bonanza that dominated the scene across the state.
Former Delhi chief minister Sahib Singh Verma on Thursday said the party would pay a civilian one lakh for killing a militant and a million for killing ten and in case he sacrifices his life the BJP will pay Rs 2 lakh to his family.
Verma, and many top leaders of the party were in Jammu in connection with its ‘save Doda, save nation satyagraha’ aimed at saving Jammu from “de-Hinduisation.” Over 5,000 activists’ including BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu and Vinay Katiyar, its general secretary who is spearheading the nation-wide campaign, 12 MPs and 23 Rajasthan legislators courted symbolic arrest on Wednesday. Verma made this “bounty speech” before the symbolic arrest.
Chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad who is already under pressure on the security front termed the “bounty idea” was “provocative, and unheard of”. He told reporters that BJP was inviting violence at a time when the state was trying to neutralize militancy. “BJP means anarchy over the rule of law. I think they have lost all sense,” he said.
Pandit Mangat Ram Sharma, the senior Congress leader and minister accused BJP of “outright communalisation.” This, he said, is aimed at deliberately fuelling communal frenzy and demoralising the security forces already fighting militancy. Communist leader Yousuf Tarigami accused the BJP of “dangerously meddling in the affairs of J&K by and trying to communalise the situation for partisan interests.”
He has linked it with the party’s “loss of mass base” saying the “intrusive statements” are out of desperation. The communist leader believes that “communal twist to the situation” would cause damage to the reconciliation process.
Terming the statement as “an attempt to jeopardise the peace process”, PDP said the BJP line was “most irresponsible”. A spokesman of the party said CBMs have had a positive impact at the ground level as the peace loving people are supportive of the peace process.
Even the media reacted sharply to the BJP idea. It was termed bizarre and fascist by newspapers even in the temple city of Jammu. Srinagar media has so far ignored the idea by barely offering it a few inches on front pages thus leaving it to the readers to make their own judgment.