Neutralization of Riyaz Naikoo will bring more peace, stability in Kashmir: Ram Madhav

New Delhi [India], May 6 (ANI): BJP general secretary Ram Madhav on Wednesday said that neutralization of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo will bring "more peace and stability in Kashmir Valley".

"The neutralization of Hizbul commander in the valley, Riyaz Naikoo is certainly a very big success for our security forces. I congratulate Rashtriya Rifles of Indian Army, CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir Police. It was a joint operation," Madhav told ANI.

"This is a big success because there was a continuous hunt going on for Riyaz Naikoo for last three years. He had blood of innocent Kashmiris on his hands. His neutralization will bring more peace and more stability in Kashmir Valley," he added.

Naikoo had Rs 12 lakh bounty on his head and was on the hit list of security forces. Active in the valley for almost eight years and responsible for several terror incidents, he was a high-value target for security forces after he took charge of Hizbul Mujahideen.

Asked about National Conference leader Omar Abdullah terming Jammu and Kashmir Administration's decision to extend the PSA (Public Safety Act) detention of former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti as "unbelievably cruel and retrograde", Madhav said, "PSA was invoked in the past by Omar Abdullah himself as Chief Minister many times".

"How come an Act that was used when he was the Chief Minister becomes cruel now? As far as Mehbooba Mufti's extension of detention is concerned, it is a decision taken by security establishment based on the security assessment in the region. I don't want to say anything about it."

On Congress targeting the central government over the Aarogya Setu App, Madhav said, "Congress has really lost it. A very useful, helpful app and such apps in other contexts are all over there. It's utterly harmless app. To say that the government is collecting secret data -- it's a very irresponsible way of criticising the government. You have a right as an opposition to point out genuine issues, but definitely this is a very silly kind of criticism."

The BJP leader said that all the decisions that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken "through the last five-six weeks have been after consulting with all the stakeholders, importantly the chief ministers of different states".

"There are chief ministers of states ruled by opposition parties who have demanded stricter lockdown to be extended. Yet lots of relaxations have been given. The relaxations began on the April 21 itself and on May 3 further relaxations have been given. Government is responsible for addressing all the concerns of the people, it is responsible for gradual unwinding of the lockdown. We will do it with utmost responsibility. Opposition party need not worry about it," he said.

Asked about Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's comments on Vande Bharat Mission, Madhav said, "Those who come to India will be tested properly before boarding flights. Responsibility to quarantine them will be of respective state governments. Many people from Kerala want to return, doesn't Chief Minister want them to return?" (ANI)