Close on the heels of the controversy over Indian Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat’s remarks to set up de-radicalisation camps in Kashmir, the Union Territory’s Director General of Police (DGP) has now seconded the idea, by stating that such an attempt would be helpful for Kashmiri youths.
Addressing a press conference at Srinagar on Monday (January 20), DGP Dilbagh Singh said it would be “a good development” if camps are set up in Kashmir where Kashmiri youths would be de-radicalised.
He blamed Pakistan for trying to “spread radicalisation” in the Valley.
“Some of our (Kashmiri) youths, especially young minds have got affected. This should happen (establishing de-radicalisation camps). It will definitely help people,” he told media persons.
He pointed out that Kashmiri youth who are detained by security agencies, most of the time do not “talk much sense” during their interaction with officials.
“So if any kind of arrangement having good people from the civil society and experts in this subject besides religious people is made, it would be good,” Singh told journalists.
During the media interaction, Singh claimed that the entire stretch of south Kashmir comprising the four districts of Kulgam, Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian would become “Hizb-ul-Mujahideen-free” soon. He said this while referring to the recent anti-militancy operations carried out in Tral and Wachi (Zenpora) in Pulwama and Shopian. Hammad Khan, a top commander of Hizb was also killed by security forces, soon after the arrest of now suspended deputy superintendent of police, Davinder Singh, who stands accused of ferrying and sheltering top militant commanders.
DGP Singh said security forces have conducted several successful operations against Hizb-ul-Mujahideen in South Kashmir.
On January 16, the newly-appointed CDS Rawat created an uproar when he while speaking at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi said that several de-radicalisation camps were operating in India as it was “necessary to isolate people who are completely radicalised”. He also suggested the idea about sending Kashmiris to such de-radicalisation camps at the event which was being attended by government officials, foreign diplomats and scholars.
Rawat said that in Kashmir “girls and boys as young as 10 and 12 are now being radicalised”. “These people can still be isolated from radicalisation in a gradual way, but there are people who have completely been radicalised. These people need to be taken out separately, possibly taken into some de-radicalisation camps. We have got de-radicalisation camps going on in India,” he had said.
His statement drew the ire of many Opposition leaders including senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and AIMIM chief Asaduddian Owaisi.