Kashmir: PDP calls BJP minister's remark on stone-pelters reflective of poisonous mindset

Chandra Prakash Ganga, who is a minister in coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir, on Wednesday said the youth throwing stones in Kashmir should be dealt with bullets.

Fresh controversy has erupted between the PDP and the BJP after a remark by BJP minister against stone-pelting youths in Kashmir, with PDP condemning his statement saying that such "mindset" needs to be changed.

Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Prakash Ganga, who is a minister in coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir, on Wednesday said the youth throwing stones in Kashmir should be dealt with bullets.

"They are traitors. Bullet is the only remedy for them. And if not bullets, they should be handed over such a punishment like the youth who are beaten with sticks by forces. Take my word that next time they (the youth) won't throw stones," Ganga was seen saying in a video clip that has gone viral on social networking sites.

However, reacting to the video, the PDP said that the minister (Chandra Prakash Ganga) should change such "poisonous mindset" towards youth of Kashmir.

PDP spokesman Mehboob Beg said that late Mufti Sayeed with the support of Atal Behari Vajpayee tried to change such mindset and attitude. "This mindset and attitude of the minister is to a large extent responsible for unfortunate and painful situation in Kashmir," Beg said.

"Mufti Sahab with support from Vajpayee had created an atmosphere which, unfortunately, was not followed by Manmohan Singh-led UPA government," he said.

BJP PLAYS DOWN REMARKS

PDP's coalition partner in the state tried to tone down the controversy, saying that "our coalition partner should not go into these remarks".

Meanwhile, PDP vice-president, Mohammad Sartaj Madni commenting on the viral video said that such "disgusting utterances" are not only unjustifiable but perilous as well.

"It is unbecoming of a senior minister in the government to dish out such a sweeping, sickening and intimidating statement against the Kashmiri youth," Madni said in a statement issued here today.

Vice-Chairman Khadi and Village Industries Board, Peerzada Mansoor Hussain Suharwardy today said that such provocative utterances smack of a larger conspiracy to keep the pot boiling in Kashmir. "It is not the first time when leaders from the PDP and the BJP differed on issues in Jammu and Kashmir," added Suharwardy.

Also read: Kashmir: Army orders probe against major for tying man to jeep as human shield

Also read: Kashmir: Government likely to ban social media in Valley