A day after five migrant labourers were killed in a terror attack in south Kashmir, National Conference provincial president Devender Singh Rana on Wednesday said that his party would support any measure to stamp out terrorism from Jammu and Kashmir. Rana also attributed the scrapping of Article 370 to terrorism and said, "We will support any measure (from the Centre) to root out terrorism from Jammu and Kashmir." The Kulgam attack happened on the day a delegation of European Union parliamentarians visited the region to take stock of the situation.
"The situation we have reached today (the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir) is because of terrorism and everyone need to stand up to fight it out. Nobody should left behind in this fight," he told reporters. Asserting that "there should be no compromise on the fight against terrorism", Rana said "terrorism has no place in the civilised society". "Terrorism has no religion, no nation, no culture and is a threat to humanity. It is treachery against humanity," said the NC provincial president.
Responding to a question about the killings of 11 non-locals including truck drivers and labourers in south Kashmir over the past 15 days, he said, "An innocent dying in a terror attack is against the ethos of humanity and we unequivocally condemn it. "There is the need for a united fight to uproot terrorism from the State as the scourge of terrorism is the biggest challenge to humanity," he said. "We condemn terrorism and it should be uprooted. All of us, irrespective of our ideology or which side we are on politically, must come together and there should be no compromise on it. We are very clear on that," he said.
Referring to the killing of truck driver Narayan Dutt by terrorists in south Kashmir on Monday and his visit to his family in Katra township of Reasi district, he said that the deceased has left behind four children aged seven, 12, 14 and 17 years. "We, in Jammu and Kashmir, should close our ranks in combating terrorism and isolate the elements inimical to peace by further strengthening the bonds of amity and brotherhood," he had told mourners.
Describing Dutt's killing as "gruesome, barbaric and inhuman", Rana said, "The dastardly act will not deter the peace-loving people of Jammu and Kashmir to meet the challenge with courage, fortitude and resilience. Jammu and Kashmir has bled profusely since 1990 and the brutal acts of terror have only strengthened the people's resolve to combat the scourge resolutely," he said while lauding the people's "unbreakable spirit" in maintaining peace and harmony during the most testing times.
Rana also urged the government to sanction ex-gratia of Rs. 10 lakhs for next of kin of the deceased immediately, free education to his children and job for one of them when he attains the age of eligibility. "Though the loss of the precious human life cannot be compensated, yet this is the minimum the government can do for slain driver's hapless family which lost its sole bread earner," Rana said, referring to the similar gesture shown and assistance provided by the Rajasthan government to a truck driver, who too was killed by terrorists in the Valley recently.