New Delhi: Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh on Wednesday said that Farooq Ahmad Dar, the civilian who was tied to an army jeep in Budgam on April 9, was a “mastermind and a leader of stone-pelters”.
Singh’s comments come after the Jammu and Kashmir Police said in a report that Dar had gone to cast his vote in the parliamentary by-poll on April 9 and he was a victim of “wrongful confinement”.
“I don’t know about the report,” Nirmal Singh told reporters. “But he was a mastermind and leader of stone-pelters. Though as a government we do not support the means (of a human shield), we support Major Gogoi (army officer who had Farooq Dar tied to the jeep) for making his intentions clear and positive,” Singh said, adding that everything was “fair in love and war”.
“It is a proxy war,” he said of the situation in Kashmir.
The deputy CM was in Delhi to take part in a conference, ‘Peace in Jammu and Kashmir: Challenges and Opportunities’, at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
On the Rohingya issue, Nirmal Singh claimed that they were foreigners who had “illegally” entered India. He said that the Jammu & Kashmir government was taking all steps to remove them.
“They have illegally entered India and have a presence in Jammu and Samba districts. The state is working on shifting them, as there is potential for Pakistan to use them as terrorists,” he said.
In his lecture at the JNU conference, he highlighted the importance of Sufism in Kashmir and how the region was once again moving towards peace. “Sufism is the soul of Kashmir and there are a whole lot of development activities which have gone unheard of,” said Singh, who criticised separatist leaders for complicating issues.
Efforts were being made to revive Sufism and Shaivism in Kashmir which, he said, was the way forward.