On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed security situation in Kashmir with top government functionaries and the BJP leadership in Delhi. Sources say the central leadership is unhappy with functioning of the state government in the wake of the worsening law and order situation and dismal voter turnout in the Srinagar by-elections.
Trouble started early this week after elections on six MLC seats for the upper house of Jammu and Kashmir legislature. Despite a seat-sharing arrangement, the PDP ended up winning just one seat and the BJP bagged three seats after an independent MLA and PDP associate member switched sides and voted for the BJP candidate. One seat each was won by the Congress and the National Conference. Soon after the elections, the state government sacked Zanskar MLA Sayed Baqir Rizvi as vice Chairman of Buildings and Construction works, who was enjoying the status of Minister of State.
The PDP says it was an open violation of coalition dharma and an act of backstabbing. Yesterday, the lone PDP MLC, Yasir Reshi, refused to take oath along with BJP members at the legislative council Secretariat.
The relations were further hit after senior BJP leader and J&K industries minister Chandra Prakash Ganga said that protesters in Kashmir should be dealt with bullets. The PDP strongly reacted and said these remarks only reveal a “poisonous mindset towards Kashmir.”
Mr Ganga said he doesn’t mince words. “There is only one way to deal with anti-nationals, whether they come from Pakistan or they belong to this place. Shoot them. In case bullets are not available then give them severest punishment,” he had said.
Mr Ganga even endorsed a video in which security forces are seen thrashing alleged protesters and stone-pelters. “Look in the video how the same people who are throwing stones are shouting anti-Pakistan slogans,” he said.
The situation in Kashmir has worsened after by-elections for Srinagar parliamentary constituency on April 9. Eight persons were killed on polling day and scores were injured in firing by security forces. One of the injured died on Wednesday. The elections saw a low voter turnout of just 7 per cent which is seen as the biggest setback for pro-India and mainstream politics in Kashmir.
The colleges and high schools are closed since Monday after unprecedented student protests in the Valley.