Militants and their families are not the same: Mehbooba on ex-gratia to Burhan Wani’s kin

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday said one needed to differentiate between militants and their families.

Militant aur militant ki family mein hume farq karna padega, unko ek hi nazar se nahin dekh sakte (We have to differentiate between militants and their families. (We) cannot look at both in the same manner),” a media report quoted her to have said.

Mehbooba’s statement comes after various political leaders, including BJP,  the ruling ally in the state, condemned the government’s decision to approve compensation for Khalid Muzaffar Wani’s family. Khalid was the brother of slain Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani who was killed by the government forces on 8 July .

“The BJP will oppose it because we are of the firm opinion that he was a terrorist. There is no provision for grant of ex-gratia or compensation to the family of a slain terrorist,” Sunil Sethi, advocate and chief spokesperson of the BJP in J&K, was quoted by the report to have said.

Congress, too, has opposed the move, the report added. Party’s media in-charge Randeep Surjewala was quoted by the report, “To award compensation to those which Indian Army claims to be Hizbul Mujahideen reflects a compromise on India’s integrity as also against the valiant efforts of India’s army by the BJP-PDP government in Jammu and Kashmir.”

However, the state government has said that the list is not final and institutions, such as the Army, could raise objections to it before confirmation, the report added.

“This is a preliminary list and not a final decision. That is why we have sought objections,” Deputy Commissioner (Pulwama) Muneer-ul-Islam was quoted by the report to have said.

Muneer also heads the District Level Screening and Coordination Committee (DLSCC), which decides on compensation cases.

Khalid’s inclusion in the list and his clearance for compensation comes after the Army and police claimed that he was killed in an encounter between militants and the Army when Khalid had allegedly gone to meet his brother Burhan in the Kamla forests of Tral. The police had also claimed that they had recovered a rifle from his possession, the report added.

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