India’s first CDS, Gen Bipin Rawat’s remark about the need to “de-radicalise youths of Kashmir” has received sharp criticism from leaders of Opposition parties and member of the civil society.
Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue, Rawat said on Thursday that like Pakistan, India has de-radicalisation camps.
Rawat said, “These people can still be isolated from radicalisation in a gradual way. But there are people who have been completely radicalised. These people need to be taken out separately, possibly taken to some de-radicalisation camps. We have got de-radicalisation camps going on in our country”.
While his comment left Opposition parties fuming, it also contradicted India’s official position of not having any such camps.
Reacting to Rawat’s comment, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “This is deeply condemnable and shocking. A military commander has no business saying this. It shows the weakness of the political leadership and is detrimental to India’s case on Kashmir.”
Leader of the all India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Owaisi asked, “Who will de-radicalise the killers of Akhlaq and Pehlu Khan?”
Accusing Rawat of undermining civilian supremacy, Owaisi said, “This is not the first ridiculous statement he has made. Policy is decided by civilian administration, not by any general. By speaking on policy/politics, he is undermining civilian supremacy.”
Congress leader, Salman Anees Soz questioned PM Modi and said, “Does PM agree with his Chief of Defence Staff who wants to put Kashmiri children in de-radicalisation camps? It appears that it is people like Gen. Bipin Rawat whose radicalisation is complete. Even his dreams seem to be imported from China.”
Asking where these de-radicalisation camps are located in India, journalist Maya Mirchandani said, “Apart from evoking the Chinese model used in Xinjiang, Gen Rawat’s talk of identifying, segregating, sending those being radicalized to camps is chilling and raises many questions. What is yardstick for identification? Where are these camps?