Even as Jammu and Kashmir is seeing another cycle of violent protests, following a video of a local man being allegedly used as a human shield by the army, the state ministers are not particularly helping in calming frayed nerves in the Valley.
Industries Minister, Chander Prakash Ganga, is of the opinion that shooting "stone-pelters and traitors" is the only way to bring about peace in the Valley, reported Greater Kashmir.
"They are the traitors. Whether they live in the country or come from Pakistan, they can only be treated by bullets. If bullets are not there at least they should be punished, like beating them by canes," the minister reportedly said on live camera, surrounded by his supporters.
Ironically, the BJP minister's comment came on the day the state Cabinet asked the security forces to exercise restraint to avoid casualties.
According to the minister, the youth will stop throwing stones once they are beaten up. "Mark my words," he reportedly said in a video.
"What 'azaadi' are they demanding?" the minister asked.
"Laathon kay bhoot baatoun sey nahi mantaay...inka ilaaj jootay hai (The people who resort to "devilish acts" won't change their ways unless they are beaten with shoes)," he said.
The state government has suspended 3G and 4G mobile internet services across Kashmir, purportedly to stop videos and pictures of alleged atrocities by security forces from going viral. There are reports saying that the government is now likely to ban Facebook and WhatsApp in the coming days.
Earlier this week, hundreds of college students took to the streets of Kashmir to protest the security forces' 'excesses'. About 50 students were also injured during the clashes.
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