March 2019 News

BJP MLA Says Divide Jammu & Kashmir To Curb Terrorism, Congress Hits Back

4 March 2019
Vivek Trivedi

Jhabua: Amid stand-off along the Line of Control by Indian and Pakistani forces after the Pulwama terror attack and following air strikes, a BJP MLA from Madhya Pradesh has suggested division of Jammu and Kashmir to curb insurgency, a statement that invited immediate criticism from the Congress. Speaking to the media on Sunday evening on aerial strikes by the Indian Air Force in Balakot and return of wing commander Abhinandan Varthman from Pakistan, Jhabua's BJP MLA GS Damor blamed the first Indian government for the root cause of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. The issue arose soon after independence and the governments kept erring on the matter, said Damor. The MLA backed an announcement of a senior Army officer that whoever raises arms against the state would be eliminated as it would deter local elements who back terrorists. 'Our Army has initiated to resolve this issue,' he claimed. The MLA then shifted his focus towards linguistic formation of states. He said the states in India have been formed on the basis of language, including Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Damor said only four districts in Kashmir are affected by terrorism whereas Jammu and Ladakh are peaceful. 'Once we carve out these insurgency-affected districts from the region, terrorism would be contained and morale of insurgents would be shattered,' the legislator added. He also cited examples of Madhya Pradesh which was divided and Chhattisgarh was formed, while Uttarakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh without any issue. 'By geographically dividing Jammu and Kashmir, we could control insurgency effectively,' the BJP MLA said. Hitting back at Damor, local Congress MP Kantilal Bhuria said the situation had turned worse in Kashmir since the BJP ran a coalition government with the People's Democratic Party. Bhuria said dividing states was not the solution, adding that the first government of the country had helped earn a name for India globally. Voices seeking division of the troubled state are not new within the BJP. In 2018, BJP MLC Surinder Ambardar had made a similar demand seeking union territory status for Ladakh and Kashmir and statehood for Jammu. His remarks came after the imposition of President's rule in Jammu and Kashmir.