ISLAMABAD: Former Leader of Opposition in Indian Punjab and President of Punjabi Ekta Party (PEP) Sukhpal Singh Khaira has said that the Indian army and forces’ personnel are involved in excesses like rape and fake encounters in Kashmir.
Reacting to the Pulwama blast, Sukhpal Singh Khaira, in his remarks on Facebook, said there were some legitimate grievances of Kashmiris, which needed to be addressed, reported The Indian Express.
“Whenever there is a war-like situation, it takes two to clap. Our army has also been accused of committing excesses in Kashmir. There have been reports of rapes. Recently, there was an incident where an officer, Major Gogoi, tied up a man in front of his jeep to prevent stone pelting. Even an animal is not given such treatment,” Khaira said.
He also attacked Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, for defending the actions of Major Gogoi. “There are some issues, which are indefensible and it is sad that Amarinder wrote articles defending Gogoi,” Khaira told The Indian Express.
Khaira said there had also been accusations of the fake encounter on security forces. “There are allegations that people have been killed in cold blood in fake encounters. Not all have faced such accusations, but some have definitely,” he added.
The PEP leader, who is also an MLA from Bholath and whose membership is now under challenge after he resigned from the Aam Aadmi Party, also raised the issue of accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India. “When the then Maharaja of Kashmir decided to accede to India, the decision was not as per liking of the vast majority of Kashmiris,” he said, adding that the issue must be solved through talks. “As far as possible, the demands of Kashmiris should be met.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Khaira defended his comments: “I have not said anything wrong. There have been court-martials of Army personnel on these allegations. I have said that the misgivings with Kashmiris should be removed.”