Kashmir MLA says 'militants are martyrs, our brothers', controversy follows

'We should not celebrate the killings of militants, it is our collective failure, we feel sad when our security forces are martyred as well, we should sympathize with parents of security jawans and with parents of militants as well,' Mir added.  Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 11, 2018, 09.50 AM (IST)

A PDP MLA from Kashmir has sparked controvery after saying militants "are martyrs, they are our brothers". 

"Militants who are from Kashmir are martyrs, they are our brothers, some of them are minors who don't even know what they are doing," PDP MLA Aijaz Ahmed Mir said Thursday. 

Mir, the MLA from Watchi constituency in Kashmir's Shopian, added that the killing of militants should not be celebrated. And that "we feel sad when our security forces are martyred as well". 

"We should not celebrate the killings of militants, it is our collective failure, we feel sad when our security forces are martyred as well, we should sympathize with parents of security jawans and with parents of militants as well," Mir said. 

2017 has been a tough year in Kashmir, with the security forces killing close to 200 militants. 

Some of them have been students as young as 15. 

On Thursday, newspapers reported the killing of 15-year-Old Farhan Wani who had joined the Hizbul Mujahideen last year. 

Farhan was killed in an encounter in Anantnag on Tuesday. The other three militants with him when the security forces caught up with them managed to escape. 

In 2017, 77 security forces personnel were killed in counter-insurgency operations Jammu and Kashmir. 

Mir's statements were condemned by the both the BJP, which shares power with the PDP in Kashmir, and the opposition National Conference, which said the PDP is a party of contradictions. On the one hand, they said, militants are killed under their watch, and on the other, they make statements like Mir's.