Jammu: Vice Chancellor Jammu University Prof RD Sharma has courted controversy by saying it would have been "better" if Hizbul Mujahideen 'commander' Burhan Wani was kept in jail instead of being killed.
"If we would have kept him (Burhan) in jail for entire life, it would have better than killing him. I feel so. Killing a militant is ok and those who have done deaths and destruction should be killed. The problem in Kashmir is that people are still with militancy...We need to understand this," Sharma told media at a function here yesterday.
He said an "issued was created" by killing the militant.
"What a big issue was created by killing a militant. I don't know whether I am saying right or wrong? If we would have arrested him, the career of school children would not have been spoiled. I am saying this not as politician but as an educationist," he said.
Sharma said students in Kashmir are "dedicated, well organised and career conscious but would fight if they feel they are being harassed".
"They (Kashmiri students) are very enlightened. It was a surprise and shock for me as to why they don't go to schools and colleges. It is sensitive issue. I am not a politician, I am a educationist," he added.
His statement today sparked protests by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha following which he issued a statement saying his views be interpreted in the light of academic pursuits only.
"It is clarified and impressed upon that the statement given by the vice chancellor, which is already available on the social media as well, be interpreted in the light of academic pursuits only, as it in no way was aimed to promote or protect the interests or hurt the sentiments of any individual. Communication gap caused, if any, is regretted," a statement quoted Sharma as saying.
He said, "It is unfortunate that some vested interests have started twisting the statement to satiate their own objectives".
"We should take lessons from it. If one militant's killing can create this situation for four-long months, where families, parents and children become adamant and want Kashmir issue to be resolved...This is an eye opener for all of us. We need to change our strategy," he said.
BJYM today held protests over Sharma's remarks, saying as an academician he should stick to his work only.
State General Secretary, BJYM, Vikas Choudhary said he (Sharma) has given his statement at a time when there was unrest in the state and "our jawans were giving sacrifices for the nation".
President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry Jammu, Rakesh Gupta said the chamber was concerned about the statement by the vice chancellor.